Tag Archives: Restoration Hardware

Out with the old

Out with the old

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Out with the old

A kitchen renovation is like being on a seemingly never-ending rollercoaster ride. The highs (approving the final designs) to the lows (two weeks without progress) are not for the faint of heart. Even celebrities aren’t immune to the drawn-out process of renovations. Harry Styles recently told Vogue his London home took 18 months to complete, a project that initially began as two weeks’ worth of work he had planned to do himself. I feel you, Harry, I feel you.

If you’ve been following my column in Reno + Decor, then you may remember the kitchen had always been the “big” project we wanted to tackle first. It was usable, but it felt dated, worn, and didn’t utilize the space to its full potential (having come from an 800-sq.-ft. condo, we knew a better layout was possible).

Enter my soon-to-be sister-in-law Jessica Fehr, a designer with Madison Taylor Design. She was thrilled at the idea of helping us with our designs, and once we sent over our kitchen measurements, she eagerly started designing. This was my first experience with an interior designer – from now on, I plan to use one for any major renovation to come. Why? Fehr was able to help synthesize everything I told her we wanted and needed, and come back with designs that made sense. That’s the other thing, there are endless combinations of finishes you can choose from, and they know what works and what doesn’t. A clashing kitchen is an expensive mistake I didn’t want to risk making, and as a pro, Jessica was able to help guide us through.

Ordering our custom cabinets was a top priority – even in June they were booking out to the fall. We decided to splurge on custom cabinets by Absolute Cabinets, as we plan to stay in this house for a while. And with almost 10-ft. ceilings and uneven floors, you get more precision and what you want, versus going out-of-the-box.

Finding a contractor was the next major task on my list, since the alternative would be hiring and coordinating all of the trades ourselves – a job neither of us had the time or patience to do.

A colleague of Fehr’s recommended Corner Contracting. After meeting the owner Dylan, we decided he was the right fit based on his friendly demeanour, previous experience with old homes and transparent contract.

Before we began tearing down walls, we replaced two windows to change to a drywall return style (no casings). Truthfully, we need to replace every window in the house, but not replacing these kitchen windows at this stage will create an expensive future issue, since our new backsplash surrounds them.

At the end of September, a complete gut was finished, right down to the studs. To save money, we did this ourselves. Instead of smashing the cabinets a la HGTV home reno shows, we carefully removed everything and donated the kitchen (including appliances) to Habitat for Humanity. The cabinet removal led us to discover significant evidence of mice (ew!), an issue we were able to resolve by ensuring there were no gaps in the subfloor and sealing any possible openings in the foundation.

Another money-saving job we did ourselves was adding Rockwool Safe ‘n’ Sound soundproofing insulation to the ceiling, as our daughter’s bedroom is directly above the kitchen.

Once that was complete, Dylan contracted a plumber and electrician to get everything right behind the walls… which is when our first big issue was revealed. Our plumber, Paul Corcoran, PWC Plumbing owner, discovered all of the plumbing in our home had Kitec pipes. This is a product that was considered top-of-the-line in the early 2000s but essentially is faulty. A burst in the pipes isn’t a matter of if, but when.

We replaced everything in the kitchen, including the lines to the laundry room, as that wall was going to be covered by our new cabinetry. Dylan also suggested we consider using Flo by Moen, a smart water security system that gave him personal peace of mind in his home. Not only does it track your water usage, but it can detect leaks, read temperature and humidity, and lets you shut off your water with the click of a button on your phone (meaning, you could be on vacation and shut off your water from the beach). In the end, we added the shutoff system, two additional sensors and a leak sensing cable, and we’re planning to add two more sensors – one in the attic and another by our water heater – for further protection.

Our electrician, Adam Boyce, owner of Electric All, helped us make sense of our lighting configuration. This meant changing our outlets from double-gang to single, adding additional pot lights, moving the island pendants, adding outlets to the island and putting up a second fixture to frame the back door.

Next up was to replace all of the subfloors and drywall the ceiling and walls, so our hardwood floors and cabinets could be installed. We didn’t plan on replacing our subfloors, but it was sloping down towards the back of the house, and too uneven for laying the hardwood (another ding to the budget).

Once the floors and walls were up, we finally felt like we had made some progress. From there, we had a few weeks of smooth sailing, while cabinets and countertops were installed. The next best day was when our appliances were taken out of their boxes, and our sink was hooked up (no more lugging dishes up and down from the basement), and we could officially stop using our temporary kitchen that was set up in our living room.

The bulk of the work happened within about two months, then the rest, petered away, one task at a time. For example, we had to wait a few weeks for our contractor to find more of our backsplash, as it’s now a discontinued style. Add in a COVID-19 scare (thankfully, no one tested positive), a labourer who quit, a broken truck and a missing ledge – all things out of our control that dragged out the process.

In total, the process has been almost nine months, from when we started reviewing designs and looking for a contractor, to today, when we can fully live in and enjoy our kitchen. No one said renovating was easy, but having a space you love is worth the wait.

Trades: Madison Taylor Design. madisontaylordesign.com | CORNER CONTRACTING. cornercontracting.ca | ABSOLUTE CABINETS. absolutecabinets.ca | PWC PLUMBING. pwcplumbing.ca | ELECTRIC ALL. info@electricallco.com | MARIO’S WINDOWS & DOORS. marioswindowsdoors.com | Countertops in Arctic White (perimeter) and Colton (island) by CAMBRIA. cambriausa.com. Installation by ELEGANT SOLUTIONS. elegant-solutions.ca | DECOR & HARDWARE: Old Fashion Mosaico BACKSPLASH by Ston. stonitalia.it | PAINT in White Dove (island, upper cabinets and walls); Simply White (trim and baseboards) by Benjamin Moore. benjaminmoore.ca | CABINET HARDWARE in the Ellis Collection Davenport in matte black by Top Knobs. topknobsdecor.com | High arc pulldown KITCHEN FAUCET and Flo Smart water security system by Moen. moen.ca | Quatrus double bowl undermount SINK by Blanco. blanco.com | Classic light filtering ROMAN SHADES window treatments in White Linen by Select Blinds. selectblindscanada.ca | Madeleine leather seat collection COUNTER STOOLS in black oak drifted by Restoration Hardware. rh.com | RANGE AND DISHWASHER by Samsung. samsung.com | 800-Series FRIDGE by Bosch. Bosch-home.ca | MICROWAVE by Frigidaire. frigidaire.ca | RANGE HOOD by Kobe. koberangehoods.com | APPLIANCES from Canadian Appliance Source. canadianappliance.ca | Linear PENDANT by Wrought Studio. wayfair.ca | Arti SCONCES and Skye Globe PENDANTS by Hinkley. wayfair.ca | Tompkins Industrial DINING TABLE 74 in., in black. westelm.ca | Restored vintage mid-century modern DINING CHAIRS by Poul M Volther from Kijiji. kijiji.ca | ART by Holly Addi. hollyaddi.com

A writer and editor for more than a decade, Stephanie Gray has covered everything from luxury travel to modern parenting challenges.

Her work has been featured in publications including Glamour, Elle Canada and Best Health.

She recently bought a century-old home north of Toronto, in need of updates, which she’s taking on with her husband (and toddler in tow).


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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Those Summer Nights

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Those Summer Nights

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Those Summer Nights

by Silvana Longo

The only drawback of summer is shorter days after the summer solstice. Fortunately the beautiful array of lighting choices help keep the good times going way into the wee hours.

Normandy Lantern, from $281US

Restoration Hardware

RH.com

Wood Rope Lantern Brass, small $69, tall $181

WestElm.ca

Moroccan Lantern $39.99

HomeSense.ca

Canvas Black Rope Solar-Powered Lantern $39.99

CanadianTire.ca

Mid-Century Wood Lantern, small $39, large $111

WestElm.ca

Asura Metal Lantern with LED Flameless Candle, two sizes available, $79.95 & $119.95

Pier1.ca

Angled Mercury Glass Lantern, small $28US, medium $58US, large $98US

Anthropologie.com


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Home Finds: Ready, Set, Summer ...

HOME FINDS: TREND WATCH: Ready, Set, Summer …

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HOME FINDS: TREND WATCH: Ready, Set, Summer …

The winter gets washed away (and its harsh memory) once we clean up the yard and prep the patio for the sun-filled months ahead. This year, add some Canadiana to your outdoor space as we celebrate our country’s milestone birthday

by Silvana Longo

When it comes to relaxing outdoors in affordable, modern style, the laid-back Morocco collection knows the ropes. Colourfast and UV-resistant ropes are hand-wrapped around an aluminum frame to define the linear look, while the thick, fade- and mildew-resistant Sunbrella cushion adds a plush layer. The synthetic resin rope supports and conforms to your every move then springs back to its streamlined shape.

Morocco Lounge Chair with Sunbrella Cushion, $1,199;
Hexa Side Table, $379;
Hexa Coffee Table, $749;
Crest Side Table Stool, $399;
Morocco Sectional Corner with Sunbrella Cushion, $1,299;
Morocco Sectional Armless Chair with Sunbrella Cushion, $999;
Salome 8’x10′ Indoor-Outdoor Rug, Charcoal, $1,899 crateandbarrel.ca

LOUNGE LOVERS
With rest & relaxation under sunny skies a top priority, make room for some stylishly snug seating.

SUBSTANTIAL SEATING

The XL Breeze chair has natural teak accents and an elegant powdercoated frame design, with added security from solid aluminum back slats and a thick, reinforced structure upholstered in Sunbrella.

Breeze XL Chair, $2,725

elte.com

— SIL’s PICK —

“This eye-catching chair was love at first sight for me. The exquisite colour palette of gold, teal and white just sing summer to me…not to mention the cool form is a weaving masterpiece.”

Silvana Longo
Editor

Made of all-weather cord, handwoven around a lightweight aluminum frame, this chair brings the right combination of comfort and elegance to porches and decks.

Huron Large Lounge Chair + Cushion, $1,211.73

westelm.com

IN AND OUT

This handwoven chair in flexible recycled plastic with sturdy steel frame offers ergonomic comfort in a retro-modern esthetic form. Its weave perfectly cradles the body offering ultimate comfort. Durable for both outdoor as well as indoor use, it has protective stoppers on the feet to protect wooden flooring and rust-proofed steel for protection against the elements.

Acapulco Chair, $799

thebay.com

DREAM A LITTLE DREAM

This whimsical outdoor chair features a breezy, crazy-weave canopy, holders for your drink and a dream-catcher motif woven into the back. Made with all-weather wicker that’s been laced by hand over a sturdy, rust-resistant wrought iron frame.

Dream Catcher Swingasan, $449.95

pier1.com

— EM’s PICK —

Emilie Simpson
Art Director

LOUNGE IN LUXURY

Handcrafted with the highest quality teak in the world, this classic chaise in a bold wide-slat design can be left unfinished to weather to a beautiful silvery grey, or maintained with Golden Care Teak Protector.

Regatta Chaise Lounge with Sunbrella Cushion, $1,644

crateandbarrel.ca


Let’s Get the PARTY STARTED…
A summer outdoor tablescape is where you can let your creativity soar…from bright colours, burgeoning blossoms to pretty prints, nature’s backdrop is the perfect setting to eat, drink and be merry.

WAVES of COLOUR

Ready to take a break from everyday white and boring solids? Showcase your rockin’ style with this porcelain dinnerware in rich shades of teal, taupe and glimmering gold. A beautiful way to set a table that displays nature’s gifts.

Katalla Bay Ceramic Salad Plate, $10.95

pier1.com

COLOURFUL STRIPES

It’s a fiesta waiting to happen. Crafted of machine-washable cotton, even napkins add an instant burst of summer spirit to the table.

Summer Citrus Striped Napkin, $5.95

pier1.com

SUMMER SPIRITS

This party essential is made of natural teak wood and makes a smart and sophisticated choice for your outdoor living.

Zuo Modern Regatta Trolley, $679.99

thebay.com

SUCCULENT MEALS

Embellished with a lush, lifelike succulent sprig, the raffia napkin ring sets the table with garden-party ambience.

Succulent Napkin Ring, $4.95

crateandbarrel.ca

FESTIVE & FUN

Bits of molten glass speckle blue-toned confetti on a tall but chunky highball glass that feels great in the hand. Handcrafted of recycled glass, the glass will vary slightly in size and capacity.

Rue Blue Double Old-Fashioned Glass, $6.95
Rue Blue Highball Glass, $7.95

crateandbarrel.ca

SIL SAYS …
There is definitely a tile trend happening this summer in outdoor living. These tile-inspired accents whisk me away to the Mediterranean where the sun shines its brightest and I am in my happy place.

DECORATIVE DINING

Add a little art to your outdoor space with a tiled tabletop in this fun, graphic pattern. The smooth ceramic top is easy to clean and brightens up an outdoor dining area; tiles are carefully inlaid by hand onto an FSC-certified hardwood base for a unique look.

Mosaic Tiled Dining Table, $1,616.18

westelm.com

Decorative DETAILS
Accents are not optional…but a necessity

PLANT LIFE

Socker Watering Can, light green. You can store water or a nutrient mixture in the can, so everything is ready when you water your plants.

SOCKER Watering Can, 5 Litre, $14.99

ikea.com

TROPICAL TREATS

Dessert tastes sweeter on these handpainted, watercolour, tropic-inspired dessert plates.

Aloha Dessert Plates, set of 4, $19.99

canadiantire.ca

When it comes to cushions, you have your pick of the crop to create a fun and vibrant outdoor space!

Garden Treasures Yellow Striped Outdoor Throw Pillow, $19.99

lowes.ca

Outdoor Floral Tile pillow, $71.18

westelm.com

SEA BREEZE

This pillar candle holder of clear glass with cockle shell finish is reminiscent of breezy afternoons at the beach.

Shell Candle Holder, 8″x8″ $100

cobistyle.com

KEEP THE BUGS AT BAY

Citronella Candles, $59.99 each

goneshopping.ca/brands/skeem-design/

SUMMER NIGHTS…
When the sun sets, add a few layers of ambiance lighting to complement a star-filled sky to light up the night.

1) Medium Wood Base Lantern, $79.95; pier1.com

2) Cut-Out Ceramic Lantern, $29.99; bouclair.com

3) Metal and Wood Lantern with Rope Handle, $34.99; bouclair.com

4) Limoux Lantern—Brass starts at $395US; rh.com

5) Teal Rattan Outdoor Decorative Lantern, $34.99, lowes.ca


Au Canada…

In spite of global unrest, it seems our country’s light shines bright as we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Our internationally acknowledged tolerance and peace-loving country sets a high standard making it quite evident that the world needs more Canada!

This summer revel in our unique Canuck pride with our favourite (yes, proudly spelled with a “u”) sesquicentennial picks.

Canada Map Pillow Cover, 20″x20″, $39.50

indigo.ca

Expressions Canada 150 Eh Team Pillow Cover 18″x18″, $39.50

indigo.ca

PC Oblong Cushion (red), $17

superstore.ca

Camp Coffee Pot – Better in Canada, $34.50

indigo.ca

Iconic Ice Point Blanket, $170 – $550 depending on size

thebay.com

The Colour Of Canada

with an introduction by Roy Macgregor, $24

indigo.ca

Tera Gear 4-pc BBQ Utensil Set, $35

superstore.ca

Wooden “Canada” Tray, $29.99

homesense.ca

Ceramic “Eh” Spoonrest, $6.99

homesense.ca

Smythe by Auden Alpaca Eh Sweater, $395

holtrenfrew.com


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