Tag Archives: Budget Friendly


Blissful bunkie

Latest News

Blissful bunkie

Words & Photography by Karen Kirk

“As I strolled the lush property for the first time of what would become my new home, I instantly fell in love with a small outbuilding nestled in the woodlands at the base of the Niagara Escarpment behind the house,” says Glass. “Its construction was solid, the size perfect and its romantic lure undeniable. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and transform it into whatever I wanted it to be.”

After three years spent designing, renovating and decorating the original ’60s-era house, it was time for Jackie to set her sights on a fun little project – creating a garden studio – a personal oasis situated off the beaten track in the back of her verdant woodland garden.

The rustic 10’x10′ bunkie featuring lovely, solid-wood salvaged doors and mullioned windows, was about to be revived and transformed into a welcoming and functional outdoor workspace. With paint from her local Benjamin Moore and a fun Ikea shopping spree, Jackie’s cosy little garden studio came to life in brilliant colour one hot summer’s day in July.

A splash of paint

Situated in a shady spot on the property, Jackie’s fresh colour palette was inspired by the surrounding flora. She chose fun vibrant colours for both the exterior and interior – fuchsia, aqua, ocean blue – on a background of mid-to-dark grey tones and white. “During an intense summer heat wave, I gave every surface a fresh coat of paint, including the porch extension and vaulted ceiling,” says Glass. “The bay window seat is my favourite detail in the garden shed.” Colour, cushions and suspended window vases breathe new life into this unexpected architectural detail. An eye-popping, bright fuchsia painted-wood floor is a bold choice but if not here, there’s no better place to freely express your personality.

“With paint from her local Benjamin Moore and a fun Ikea shopping spree, Jackie’s cosy little garden studio came to life in brilliant colour one hot summer’s day in July.”

Patio pleasures

A six-foot extension off the full-width existing porch offers a spot to catch the fresh Niagara Escarpment breezes as well as the early morning and end-of-day sunlight. The natural light is essential when working on fabric and paint samples for my clients and to catch a few rays with a steamy cup of coffee or a happy-hour cocktail. Heaven!

Shedding light

It was important to Jackie that she maintained a rustic cabin in the woods feel to the garden studio so she decided not to run power to it. “If I ever need power, I can always hook it up to the generator outside my house. I typically work here during the day when there’s plenty of natural light but if it’s a gloomy day or in the evening, when I need light, for safety purposes, I use solar candle light in my lanterns and a rechargeable bulb from Ikea in my bamboo chandelier,” says Glass.

Create a budget-friendly modern-rustic look

To keep her little project on-budget (house renos cost money!), Jackie chose affordable, stylish and durable furnishings that appealed to the purpose and style she wanted for her garden studio. Powder-coated aluminum and glass storage cabinets to prevent rodents from making themselves at home, natural-wood furniture and accessories to provide a modern rustic look and add function to the space were the perfect choice. A kitchen island cum desk features shelves on one side and an overhang for adding stools for clients and friends. Folding stools help maximize space and can be stored efficiently against the wall when not in use. A wood ladder serves as a planter, sample storage and magazine rack. Everything has a purpose and a place.

After a long winter in a constant state of anticipation, the thought of getting back outdoors to enjoy the summer months with our family and friends is palpable. Whether you purchase a kit or restore an existing structure, a garden shed is the perfect project to kickstart your summer and release your inner designer, gardener or builder. Make it your own and you’ll enjoy it for years to come.


DESIGNED by Jackie Glass FURNISHINGS, LIGHTING, RUG AND ACCESSORIES, TOSTHULT RECHARGEABLE BULB: Ikea PORCH CHAIR CUSHIONS: HomeSense HANGING BASKETS: Hofland FAUX PLANTS: Maclaw PAINT: Floor: Tulip 2000-30; Interior: Chantilly Lace OC-65; Exterior: Iron Mountain 2134-30; Accents: Egyptian Green 2043-40, Caribbean Blue Water 2055-30; Deck: Whale Gray 2134-40

Jackie Glass, Principal Designer for her firm Jackie Glass Inc. with over 25 years of experience in the design industry. A former Editor of Reno & Decor magazine, you’ll also find Jackie sharing her design projects as a regular guest expert on Cityline. Follow Jackie Glass on Instagram @jackieglassinc and Twitter @jackieglasscity


Featured Products


Designer Touch – Practical Indulgences

Latest News

Designer Touch – Practical Indulgences

Save and splurge your way to a chic, gender-neutral nursery

By Rebecca Hay • Photography By Stephani Buchman

Babies are precious and of course, deserve to have it all. However, while our bundles of joy are worthy of a beautifully designed space, it’s easy to get carried away splurging on every detail. After all, it’s the parents who’ll be spending many sleepless nights here, too. You don’t have to break the bank to get the designer look you crave. Here’s how I kept my budget in check while still creating the chic nursery I dreamed of for my own little babe.


I’m particularly proud of this nursery, which was designed with some extra love for our first baby. Since we didn’t know the baby’s gender, I opted for a neutral theme and colour palette. Navy is one of my favourite neutrals, providing a sophisticated backdrop that’s ageless and pairs well with a variety of colours. I wanted a space that felt contemporary yet timeless, with some traditional elements. The strategy was splurge and save.


For these purposes, keeping the redesign simple and cost-effective was key. To finish the walls, I originally wanted wallpaper, which can be pricey. We changed tracks and opted for the navy painted wall with gold decals to achieve that “papered” look without the effort, commitment or cost. I invited the grandma-to-be to help with the stickers (placed at random) and we turned this fun project into a party!


Another save was the chest of drawers. By customizing this affordable piece of furniture, we made it one-of-a-kind. I dressed up the Ikea dresser with pretty square, gold knobs from Anthropologie. What a find! These gold knobs add a touch of sophistication to an otherwise simple, practical piece of furniture.

Art is another easy save. The adorable baby animal photographs were purchased online and put into inexpensive box store frames. The cost? Minimal. The look? Too cute for words and suited to any boy or girl!

Get this LOOK:

I used Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy HC-154 as my neutral of choice, and a great alternative to the ever-popular grey palette. This bold blue is fresh and classic. It makes the gold accents pop and complements the coral and yellow accents. Colours befitting any child, no matter their gender.


Then there’s the “splurge” part of the decorating strategy. Some of the furnishings came at a greater cost, but in my opinion were well worth the spend. The crib is a solid-wood piece from New Zealand, classic by design with a slight nod to mid-century modern. Not too girly or too masculine. The modern rocking chair too was a splurge, but again, worth it for its comfort and lovely wood base.

My favourite element is the custom drapery, which also lands in the “splurge” column. I love using fabric as an accent in a room, to bring in interest, texture and colour. The best part is the ball fringe, which adds a playful detail. A bit of a risky move but miraculously, only a single pom has been plucked off by little fingers…so far!

Underfoot, the wool broadloom carpet is soft and cosy, and adds warmth to the space. The light carpet and white wainscotting detail help to balance the dark-blue walls and brighten a rather dark room.

Remember when decorating a nursery, or any room for that matter, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all and lose sight of the real goal—a harmonious space that makes its inhabitants feel comfortable, relaxed and right at home.


We made this nursery a space that any little baby can grow into. It’s a nursery that my little boy has thoroughly enjoyed. By thinking in terms of gender-neutral palettes and smart investments, this nursery has been an easy hand-medown to a new baby sister! As your kids grow and develop their own specific likes (and dislikes), the accessories will be easy and economical to update and add. You don’t have to overdo a theme, or break the bank doing it.


Designer Rebecca Hay, Principal Designer of Rebecca Hay Designs Inc., is a Toronto-based boutique design firm offering complete design & renovation services for residential, commercial and vacation properties for over a decade. Known and celebrated for her design work and appearances on various acclaimed HGTV shows, Rebecca and her team design classic, livable spaces that reflect the homeowner’s personality. Servicing clientele throughout Toronto, the GTA and Canada. rebeccahaydesigns.com


Featured Products