Tag Archives: Jo Alcorn

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Jo Alcorn: Nursery Decor

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Jo Alcorn: Nursery Decor

A baby’s room needs to be fun and playful, but also a place they can grow into. For this baby boy’s nursery I kept longevity in mind, creating a space that would take him from toddler to teen with minimal updates.

Sometime you need to think outside the box when choosing décor pieces. In this room we certainly did that when we took a tool box and made it into a dresser. It screams everything boy! It’s also indestructible which is ideal for rough and tumble toddlers.

Instead of just painting the walls, we wanted to add layers and textures so we went with wallpaper that is from the new Jo Alcorn Collection, dark crown molding and wainscoting to really finish the space in a unique way.

I went with low profile pieces when it came to furniture. The room was small so it helped to create the illusion of more space. We chose this great Tribeca 4-In-1 Convertible Crib from Sears that will take the family through baby to toddlers years. We also added in this sweet mobile. We finished off the bed with the most perfect bedding from Bouclair’s baby line.

We chose the most delightful glider for story time or late night cuddles. This piece from Sears fits right into the corner of the room and makes the perfect seating addition to the room.

On a trip to Bouclair I was able to pick up affordable curtains and a rod that matched the space perfectly, and also some adorable side table décor from their baby collection. I also grabbed some baskets while I was there to use as extra storage for blankets, or even as laundry baskets if needed.

My clients really wanted an air purifier in the room for the new baby; since the room is so small, we opted to remove the closet door to give us extra room required. We chose a great Philips unit that fit in perfectly with the décor and tucks nicely into the open air closet. Other than looking great, this unit reduces allergens, gases and odors in the space and the filter captures 99.97% of particles that pass through the filters.

I added in some dramatic pieces from Homesense like a faux fur rug, side tables and lamps to completely tie the space together. This room is perfect for a baby or a toddler, and can easily accommodate an older child or teen with minimal updates.

 

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Innovative Home Ideas

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Innovative Home Ideas

In my line of work, I am often come across innovative home products, and new designer colours and trends long before they hit the consumer market. It’s part of what I love about my job!

Take a look at a few cool things I’ll certainly be including in my fall client projects.

My clients often depend on me to come up with ideas that work for them, their families, and how they live in their homes. You may have noticed, I simply love electric fireplaces, and have been using them a lot more lately. The main reasons I love them, and include them, are that the price of gas units are so high, some units in my clients’ homes were inefficient, and in some homes gas was simply not an issue. I’ve installed a unit in a master bedroom to give a warm cozy ambiance, I’ve used them in living rooms to give a bit more heat, and have even included them in bathrooms! The newest option, and a really cool one, I recently saw at the Canadian Furniture Show was a unit by Dimplex where you can take the fire box out in summer months and use the unit as a media console, and then in the winter months you add the fire box back in. How brilliant is that?

Another great idea for client’s with electric heating, or who have vacation properties is the new CONNEX Smart Thermostat by Dimplex. They have introduced a new precision electronic thermostat, the CONNEX Smart Thermostat, which can be connected to any existing baseboard or fan-forced heaters. Simply put, this allows old and new electric heating units to now be controlled from anywhere in the world when used in conjunction with their WIFI CONNEX Controller, so arriving to a cold building is now a thing of the past.

I love to educate clients about products I use in my own space, ones they may not know about themselves, but which make a huge impact. This past year I discovered the joys of soft-close hardware. All my clients want to see the pretty outside drawer pulls and cabinet handles, and they often forget about the function of the piece. GRASS drawer slide and hinge systems are perfectly engineered to enable all design ideas while maintaining the highest performance. You could literally have a drawer faced with solid marble and GRASS soft close hardware could hold it.

A few other innovative products I have come across lately are kitchen innovations by luxury appliance brand Monogram. They have an amazing Pizza Oven that brings a luxurious oven to homeowners. Already available in the states, this product will be launching in Canada later this year. This oven is proven to replicate the exact conditions of some of the best pizzeria ovens in the world. Now this is something I’d love to test out first hand!

When an appliance can make my life easier, it always goes to the top of my must recommend list. The KitchenAid Professional Blender is the most powerful blender on the market. This means I only need ONE for all my requirements. It can power through kale laden smoothies, it can juice the heartiest vegetables and make the smoothest soups and dips. It is a gorgeous countertop appliance well worth the investment.

And last but not least I’ll tout my own Jo Alcorn pillow line. I wanted to create a line that was stylish and trendy but was also innovative and practical. I created the pillow in great colours and patterns to match all décor types but I also thought about the functionality. They are fully washable, have dust-mite control, are hypoallergenic, Canadian made and animal cruelty free. All things that are so important to me.

Jo Alcorn – Design Specialist, B.A. whitewash & co

www.whitewashco.ca

@Jo_Alcorn

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Closet Makeover

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Closet Makeover

As a city dweller in a small space myself, I love the challenge of making useful spaces in my client’s homes. For this space, I worked with Digital Influencer and radio personality Taylor Kaye. She has a ton of outfits, shoes and bags and really had nowhere to put them, so we turned a small room into a space where she can glam up for all her special events.

The first step was to clean out the space and declutter. When cleaning out an area, I always tell my clients it’s a great time to get rid of unwanted clothing, purses, shoes, accessories and really anything that isn’t used, worn or useful to them anymore. My client for this project has a soft spot for Diabetes Canada who also operates a reusable clothing and household goods donation program, so we worked with them to have her gently used clothing picked up. For the items that were of a bit more value, she posted them on Kijiji to help make a few bucks. For those who love the look but want to try to do it themselves great how-to’s are available here.

After the pairing down was complete, we had the space cleaned and painted to give it a fresh look and feel. The base of the closet system we were going to use was white, so I chose a dramatic colour to compliment the whiteness – Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore

Now for the crème de la crème….we worked with Tailored Living to create the exact space my client needed. It was seamless! They did a consult, measured the space, asked questions to determine the needs of my client and then created a three dimensional (3D) drawing to show the client exactly how the design would work in the space.

Tailored Living took inventory of the client’s clothes, shoes, belts and accessories. They discussed how the space would be used and how they could maximize the floor and vertical space. In the end, they were able to provide my client with more than 25 linear feet of hanging space that is organized based on clothing styles (long hanging, medium hang and doubled up short hanging spaces) to maximize the vertical space. They also added shelving for shoes, purses, folded clothing, etc.

To add even more organization to the space, we chose a few key pieces from Neatfreak who specializes in home organization. We used their harmony twill collection small and large bin drawer organizers. These are great to help keep scarves, accessories and jewelry in place within the drawers. They even take care of the little details like non-slip felt hangers so clothing stays where it’s supposed to, and garment bags for when you have to travel and want to keep your clothing clean.

From Neatfreak, we also used their Everfresh laundry baskets. All their hampers have Everfresh Probiotic natural odor control. I love it when practical items have a dual purpose.

A larger more glamourous mirror from Bouclair replaced and old ottoman and mirror; I always recommend my clients try to sell larger items like these as they are always in demand. My client popped these two items on Kijiji for a quick and seamless sale.

To finish off the space I had tons of fun shopping at Bouclair Home for the little, yet important, details to really tie the space together. I picked up a huge mirror, drapes that matched perfectly, artwork and a few other accessories that make the room all that it is, at a great cost.

Jo Alcorn – Design Specialist, B.A. whitewash & co

www.whitewashco.ca

@Jo_Alcorn

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Every year we celebrate mothers – and rightly so! I grew up with an amazing mom and look forward to honouring her on Mother’s Day. The difficultly arises when trying to figure out what’s the perfect gift for such a special person. Here are my top picks for moms everywhere.

Is your mom a superstar in the kitchen? Surprise her with a gift that will feed her culinary passion. The KitchenAid Artisan Mini Stand Mixer is sure to delight. It has a hub of attachments like the popular Spiralizer, for Mom to reinvent classic meals into healthier recipes using fresh fruits and vegetables.

Another great option for moms is the new Philips Airfryer. It fries, bakes, roasts and grills with little to no oil, making it a perfect solution for fast, tasty and healthy meals and snacks for the entire family.

A great gift idea that can really spruce up your space this time of year is artwork. Easy to switch out and super affordable at Bouclair. They have great spring inspired prints that would make a wonderful gift for mom.

Why not get your mom all the items needed for a barista bar in her own home? A pioneer in single-serve coffee, Nespresso has top of the line units for coffee enthusiasts to savour life’s many moments. The Vertuo Plus boasts versatility, the convenience of an automatic closing and opening, as well as adjustable cup support for those extra large cups!

With spring in the air it might be a great gift to lighten up your mom’s décor with some new bright and crisp pillows. My pillow collection is fully washable (you toss the entire pillow – cover and stuffing – into the washer!) hypoallergenic and made in Canada. Jo Alcorn Collection

I am in love with the idea of the new FIZZI sparkling water maker by SodaStream. The system allows you to transform tap water into sparkling water at home, at the touch of a button, without electricity. Whether your mom is looking to fizz up her water or enjoy a cocktail, the FIZZI will look perfect on her countertop. I also love that it’s great for the environment as you aren’t using cans or bottles – you can simply use a gorgeous wine glass or glass from home!

If you are at a loss for what to get your mom I think HomeSense is a great store to pop into and browse. There are just so many options for gift ideas. From serving trays to tea sets, candles to notebooks there is sure to be a little something that speaks to you.

If your mom needs absolutely nothing I always suggest the gift of time. Book a spa day with her, high tea or even a weekend get away. A resort I recently visited is in the Kawartha’s and is one of Ontario’s gems called Viamede . It’s set on gorgeous Stoney Lake, has serene views, walking trails and the most delicious food. You can treat your mom to a 5 course meal at their Mt. Julian restaurant that boasts local ingredients and farm-to-table mantras.

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Budget Friendly Spring Home Updates

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Budget Friendly Spring Home Updates

By Jo Alcorn

Each year as spring approaches, I typically see a surge of homeowners wanting to spruce up their homes. There are so many easy and affordable things people can do to dramatically update their homes while keeping function, style and budget top of mind.

Consider swapping out some accessories for lighter, brighter options. I love working with white on white (all different tones/shades of white) to create a fresh, bright pallet. Flowers are mandatory too – I cannot live without flowers – and they scream spring!

Feeling the itch for a more dramatic change this spring? I’ve recently launched a new line of Jo Alcorn wall paper in patterns that are guaranteed to give your mood a lift and make you feel like you’ve made a dramatic change with a little DIY magic.

Think you have to turn off your fireplace and forget about it until fall rolls around? Think again! Dimplex has stunning units that operate with no heat; you can keep them on during the spring and summer on cool, rainy days when you want that comfy, cozy feel of a fire but without the heat. This unit that I recently styled is a new type from Dimplex called Revillusion. It can run all summer long with a no-heat option to keep a romantic, relaxing feel going strong in the warmer months

If you have an electric fire place, or even a wood burning unit, you can redecorate it to match your spring décor. HomeSense is my go-to when I want to easily change any décor with very little expense. For mantel décor in the summer months, I recommend light, airy and fun accessories.

Spring is always a great time to organize and make small changes that will add huge functionality to your home. Adding in soft close hardware and drawer organizers can sometimes make it feel like you have a brand new space. GRASS, a manufacturer of soft close drawer and cupboard systems, has a new line called Tavinea which is an interior drawer system that is modularly built so it can easily be tailored to your personal specifications. The days of the junk drawer will be limited after this addition.

If you have open shelving or glass cabinet doors, another option to update your décor is to change your glassware and plates. I love to pull these out early in the season and get them on display – they give my kitchen an instant spring feel. And I’m all for making it feel like the warmer months will be here soon! Walmart has a great selection of outdoor plates and glasses that are sure to please and fit the needs to everyone.

Spring really does inspire us to organize, air out, and freshen up, but a spot that people often overlook is the laundry room – it’s a room that receives very little attention. I assure you, if you spend a bit of time to organize it properly, you can be far more efficient when you’re in there and have the bonus of enjoying that space! I love baskets from Bouclair to hide all the bits and bobs, cleaning supplies and other things that make the household tick.

There is no easily, more stylish way to change up your living space than by adding in pillows. The more the merrier I always say! My pillow collection is fully washable (you toss the entire pillow – cover and stuffing – into the washer!) hypoallergenic and made in Canada. Jo Alcorn Collection

Spring will be here before you know it. These quick and easy updates will make your space more functional, enjoyable, and easier to live in for more than just the season to come.

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Before & After : Bedroom

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Before & After : Bedroom

By : Jo Alcorn

While many people overlook their bedroom thinking no one sees it but them, it is a room that people should make a priority. It’s the first thing you see in the morning, and the last room you curl up in at night, so why not make it a place that brings you joy?

While there was nothing wrong functionally with this bedroom, it really lacked inspiration, detail and personality. My goal was to fill up this large space with items that brought it to life, and add detailing that would make it a show stopper in this home.

To start, I always recommend a colour that you love; choose one that gives you a serene, relaxing feel and that speaks to you personally. For this space I chose Wickham Gray HC-171. It is the base that started to bring this room to life.

To add interest and dimension, I made a few features in this space with moulding. We created a wall treatment using great trim products from Metrie, which gives the space an elegant feel.

The most common request when working on a bedroom remodel is to create a serene, relaxing atmosphere. A fireplace is the perfect addition to a bedroom setting, but the main issue I encounter is that wood is messy and gas is expensive to install. A great option is an electric unit. Electric has drastically evolved in recent years and can create the exact ambiance, mood and overall sense of comfort that is perfect for a bedroom. They are also easy to install and extremely affordable. This unit is a Dimplex unit that took the homeowner only 25 minutes to unload, unpack and set up!

To spice up the new fireplace unit, we had a custom build-up created to give it that “real” fireplace mantel feel. We used Metrie products again and matched the existing crown moulding to the new unit. It creates a simply stunning effect. To add the finishing touches to the mantel I picked up some great artwork and accessories from HomeSense to really pull it all together.

No bedroom is complete without a bed – it is the most important functional piece in the room. In this space we used a Casper mattress, which was delivered in a box right to the homeowners’ front door. It’s a great option for people without cars and city dwellers. Plus it’s extremely comfortable! Pair that up with the headboard and bed frame from the Jo Alcorn Collection and we have a winning combination of style, colours, textures and comfort.

Now to dress the bed. This is where you can have some serious fun with patterns, colour and texture. We started with crisp white sheets, pillows and pillow cases from Casper and topped it off with a subtle duvet cover from HomeSense. Again from the Jo Alcorn Collection, we used pillows to incorporate the exact texture and finishing touches that are perfect for this room.

The side table lamps and curtains were purchased from Wayfair.ca. Wayfair is a great site that has an outstanding amount of products to choose from (over 7 million to be exact!), their site is easy to navigate and they offer two-day delivery options and free shipping over CAD $75.

I often like to add a bench to the end of the bed. It looks great and is also the perfect place to pile your decorative pillows and throw at night when you turn in. For this space I used this stylish white bench from Bouclair which fit perfectly in the space and the budget. We picked up a great light from Bouclair as well.

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Jo Alcorn – The Trends of 2017

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Jo Alcorn – The Trends of 2017

Each New Year brings with it new trends, colours and design options, and 2017 is no exception. Here are my top 10 trends to watch for in 2017. You might even want to try out a few!

Darker colours add drama and warmth to any space. A colour I simply love this year is Shadow 2117-30 by Benjamin Moore. It’s bold, dramatic and fun. You can also use this colour in accent pieces to bring it into your décor.

If you are nervous about adding in darker colours to your walls, a great place to start is in pillows, a duvet or a rug. It allows you to test a dramatic colour, but at the same time you can easily swap it out or try another colour. This works in any room – from bedroom to bathroom, kitchen to family rooms. Try out a few pillows from my my Jo Alcorn line as a start joalcorn.ca.

An alternate to adding in bold, dramatic dark colours is to incorporate bright and cheery accents. Try a new headboard which will make a dramatic statement. Adding a few stools in the same pattern but different colours will also make a huge impact. Also available on joalcorn.ca.

I love wall detailing – even the most subtle elements can make an incredible impact. Both wallpaper and wood detailing can give you an elegant custom look, but if a project of this scale isn’t in the cards for you, try a bohemian wall hanging. Homesense has some great options that will make a huge impact in your space.

Nothing is more natural and calming than a fireplace. My favourite unit is the new Dimplex Stockbridge Opti-myst stove that is functional and mobile. The flames look and sound as real as a wood burning, crackling fire. For pennies a day you can have all the comfort and nostalgia of a roaring fire without any mess or a pricy gas bill.

If you are tackling a kitchen reno in 2017, look at the little details that make the biggest impact. A feature I can’t live without is soft close cabinet and drawer system. GRASS is a world class leader in soft close hardware that absorbs every load gently and silently. It’s usually only a slight increase in your budget and the return is so rewarding. No more slamming doors or jamming drawers. It’s an upgrade well worth the investment.

While we’re on the topic of the kitchen, think about your appliances. KitchenAid has gone above and beyond with their new Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator that is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. Professionally-inspired with features like a platinum interior, unique premium wood finish and sleek Stainless Steel appearance take this refrigerator from stylish to exquisite so there’s no sacrificing function for fashion. Add to that the bonus of a PrintShield exterior which helps keep fingerprints at bay.

This is the year to add some bling to your sink – a magnificent faucet is like a jewel in the kitchen. You use it every day, people see it when you are gathered in the kitchen, and it’s meant to be functional. If you are considering an upgrade, check out Delta’s stunning new faucets in an array of styles and finishes. This year, make your faucet a focal point instead of having it fade into the background.

Let the light shine in! Instead of the lighting fading away into the background, let it stand out. It’s all about drawing your eye up to enjoy the lighting you have chosen. This year, make your chandelier a statement piece. Artcraft has some amazing lighting pieces that truly are a piece of artwork or if your budget doesn’t allow, you can also choose less pricey pieces from Bouclair who also have a great selection.

For the bathroom a few simple upgrades can make the most impact. Try changing out your faucet to a wall mount. I love the look and finish of Delta’s new ARA collection and it’s a Two Handle Wall Mount Lavatory Faucet with Channel Spout. To add even more of a fresh feel try swapping out your towels or shower curtain, these little things can make your space feel brand new – Bouclair has a great bath selection with new lush towels, great patterns in shower curtains and towel latters which are all very affordable.

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Jo Alcorn’s Top Gift Picks

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Jo Alcorn’s Top Gift Picks

If you’re like me, every year when the holidays roll around I start shopping early to find my favorite classic items, and great new options. Here are my favorite finds that are sure to please everyone on your list.

stunning holiday décor theme is white elements mixed with winter animal accents. This year I found these great items from Bouclair Home that you’ll want to pick up for a loved one…and yourself too!

Give your health conscious and busy, on-the-go loved ones a gift that they can really use. The Hamilton Beach Professional Quiet Blender is a great option. It’s so powerful you can chalk it full of hearty fruits and vegetables for a healthy smoothie or a warming soup on a cold winter’s day. It’s also sleek and modern so you can proudly display it on your counter top.

I love functional! I recently fell in love with the Thermador Under-Counter refrigerator. These refrigerators mount under your counter and will work well in any space, whether it is a compact city condo or a large suburban kitchen. This would be a great gift to split with siblings and pair with a wine subscription for your parents.

Give your dog the gift of comfort this year with these reversible and fully washable dog beds (and I do mean fully – the entire thing goes into the wash!). As an added bonus, you can get matching throw pillows, so pooch’s bed is an attractive part of the décor www.joalcorn.ca

The holidays are all about giving. Plan International Canada’s Gifts of Hope are unique gifts that support real projects in developing countries. One I particularly love is Buzzing Bees that you can donate on someone else’s behalf – providing all the essentials for pollinating a buzzing family business. You can pair your recipient’s donation card with a honey pot or a beeswax candle.

Cuddle up under this luxurious heated throw that combines the best of both worlds – luxury and comfort – together. The faux fur reverse to Sherpa heated throw from Sunbeam has a Sherpa lining for an incredibly cozy feel. The perfect gift to enjoy on cold winter nights.

I have always loved the nature inspired selections from Artemano. I have an annual tradition of going to their store to pick up great hostess gifts – they have options that no other store carries, items inspired by or found in nature. Each unique piece is sure to delight your recipient, and bring the warmth of nature into their inside world.

I love to decorate with art – and no room is complete without some great pieces. One of my favourite sources for artwork is Posterjack. You upload your photo on their site and they turn it into beautiful artwork on canvas or in gallery frames and unique table decor like acrylic blocks. Their artwork makes for a really thoughtful gift.

There’s always that hard to buy for guy on your list, but this year a trip to Home Hardware is all it takes to find something perfect! I love gifts that are practical and will get used. The Benchmark Twistor is great for the handyman on your list! It’s an 8 volt cordless screwdriver features 380 different head positions with a 360 degree orbital rotation.

Not sure what to get that someone who has it all? Why not consider pampering them with a get-away? I recently stayed at Viamede Resort in the Kawartha’s. It’s a two hour drive from Toronto (or they also offer a shuttle service). You can go on a weekend or even on a mid-week getaway. The gift of a getaway is perfect for that person looking for experiences instead of a tangible gift. And did I mention the food is amazing?

Jo Alcorn – Design Specialist, B.A. whitewash & co

www.whitewashco.ca

@Jo_Alcorn

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Bathroom trends and how to spice up a space on a budget

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Bathroom trends and how to spice up a space on a budget

Bathrooms are typically smaller spaces so you can really have fun in them with colour, patterns and pops of colour, and make a pretty dramatic statement on a fairly tight budget.

If your budget allows, I like to go with flooring that will be durable, stylish and fun. I prefer to source from tile specific companies like Creekside Tile. They have hundreds of options and you can gather so many design ideas from just going into their showroom.

I focus on the details and functionality in all the designs I do. People often forget about the little things that make the biggest impact. I recently worked on a space and we installed Grass soft close hardware. You don’t see this type of hardware since it is built right into the mechanism of the drawers, but the gentle soft close (and that there are no more drawers slamming loudly!) is a dream.

It’s so easy to change up your current look with a coat of paint or some unique décor pieces. A new coat of paint in a dark colour might seem scary at first but a small space is the perfect spot to try a bold and daring colour as well as accessories in colours you might not typically choose.

The faucet is really the jewel of any bathroom that finishes off the space just right. This is a perfect place to splurge. I love Delta’soptions for a sleek and modern faucets that command attention.

If you are thinking of replacing your current vanity I’d suggest choosing one at your local big box store. You really can get a boutique stylish unit like these Cutler Kitchen and Bath vanities that are sold at Lowe’s.

If you are looking to add a spa like retreat in your bathroom, a great relaxing treat is an electric fireplace. Units like the ones at Dimplex have come along way. You can get small units to fit even the tiniest of bathrooms and grand scale units to fit the largest master bath. You may never want to leave your bathroom after you install one of these.

For a quick bathroom update consider wallpaper and accessories. You can get both at very affordable prices from retailers like Bouclair Home. If you’ve wanted to jump on the wallpaper trend and try it out a powder room that is smaller in scale is a great place to test out a pattern.

Jo Alcorn is a design specialist and designer on HGTV’s Home to Win. She has her own furniture collection, lighting line, pillow and dog bed line and is known for her savvy design concepts. Visit Jo at www.whitewashco.ca

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