Cottage at home

Two paramount priorities to consider when pondering any renovation – Location and Location!  In the case of this project, these fabulous clients had an opportunity to privately purchase a 25+ year old home on a quiet street, in an estate property, in a booming community.  Take that criteria and overlap your families specific needs within the home, a Maximized design plan and you likely have your hands on real estate gold!!  I find my clientele constantly struggle with the value of renovation vs. building new.  The realty is Renovating is daunting and costly.



However, let’s not be fooled so is building!!!  In fact often even more so…..with the myriad of considerations, selections, finishes, and upfront need-to-knows it can be paralyzing.  Furthermore, you’re purchasing a shell which still can kill you in upgrades and decorating layers simply to make it your own.

The difference people perceive is if they build they get “exactly” what they want. Trust me when I share with you after too many years in the industry – trade offs, and provisions are always a necessary component on every level.  It’s simply a part of life, everything, not perfection is often not an option.  Although, I have to say you can get pretty close, as seen here in this amazing transformation.  With a recipe of a plan, Ingenuity, investment capital and a vision – incredible outcomes can be achieved!



Within an older property your investment is often secure, the landscaping started, perhaps even complete and the benefit of having it also being matured.  If the bones of the home are sound they may require only a bit of tweaking when doing a complete overhaul.  In a nutshell we all loved this house.  The lot and overall size was perfect.  Even the room sizes were all adequate. The elephant was the lower level.  A walkout to the pool but a neglected shell, thousands of SF sitting idle waiting to be loved, planned and utilized.  We began with a needs analysis to discern what the space would require – wheel chair access and provisions to accommodate a few specific special needs, full kitchen, living, dining, seating, games area, family entertainment area, wine room, full bath with sauna, mudroom entrance, two bedrooms and gym.  This was to be a European Flair B&B, a cottage in the burbs and a poolside entertainment hub all rolled into one perfect 2600 sf Recreational Design project.  And so it began …… the JBD dream team, the perfect clients, Realistic , decisive and Fun  - a great combination, a perfect fit!  Fast forward one year, elbow grease, sweat and the occasional tear.  I literally wept when the ceilings were installed.  And voila!! I believe we achieved Design greatness, the project filled with creative license, unique elements and details built to suit the client’s Lifestyle and entertainment needs and lastly luxury budget.

I believe this project shares all of the attributes of a client, a dream and a designer’s vision which was executed with care and consideration and the passion that fuels the team from beginning to end.  I write this and review the beautiful images from the shoot and my heart still gleams with pride at this incredible outcome.

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 12.56.32 PM


I’m often asked what paints and palettes are used so here are a few of the amazing CIL shades chosen in a few of the images seen above.

CIL Antarctic ice

CIL Amazing

CIL Lexington park

On this note I’d like to share an important bulletin regarding appearances.  This week I’ll be at the Whitby North Home Depot (4200 Garden Street Brooklynn, ON) paint department on Thursday October 16th from 6-8pm selecting and assisting with paint palettes and collections.  If you’d like a consult come by as I’d love to meet you! Let’s chat about your space, what inspiration moves you and ensure we get you on a path to design success.

Hope to see you there!!


Photography by Stacey van Berkel



Be Sociable, Share!