“Cheap and Cheerful”


Don’t get me wrong, I love decorating. It’s the reason I got myself into this business. First and foremost, it’s my passion. There’s nothing more rewarding than stepping into my own creation and seeing it turn out even better than what I had envisioned. But lately I’ve been getting a solid taste for renovations and the design that goes into tearing something down and making it come to life again.

“Cheap and cheerful,” as we like to call it in the staging/contracting world; is a phrase that applies to any project that needs a quick and efficient refresh. I’m truly amazed how far a quick face lift can go in regards to freshening up a bathroom or kitchen. As an example, I will use my previous project where we took a master ensuite out of the 1980’s and into 2015.

At first, it really did seem like a gut job. It’s very easy to get discouraged (both homeowners and stagers) when you walk into something that looks like it could be weeks worth of work. However, if you keep the “cheap and cheerful” mantra in the back of your head, it becomes so much easier to determine what needs to be done. Essentially, we were able to assess what could be saved in the ensuite, and what absolutely needed to go. After deciding to keep the bones (shower, bath, tiles, and vanity) it was then a matter of what we could add to make it look modern, updated, and ultimately something a potential home buyer would want.


Miraculously, we were able to save the floor and jacuzzi tiles which looked pink paired with the previous paint. This was quite a bold move saving them, but when you’re working with a tight budget, these are quick decisions you have to make. After opting for a grey paint which had blue tones in it, those very same tiles looked stark white. It was like a paint miracle! We were amazed how the smart selection of paint by the contractor could take the pinky tones right out of the tile. We then had a cheery and basic ensuite to work with; very neutral and very easy to like.



From there we made the decision to take out the single dated sink/faucet combo and replace it with an ultra chic ‘his and hers’ double sink and new spacious faux stone countertop. Keeping with the “cheap and cheery” mantra, we kept the old vanity and reworked the plumbing to allow for the double sinks. Cleaning and fixing up this old vanity saved us a bundle, it looked brand new, and acted as a great base for the bowl sinks we ended up choosing. The final touches included new updated lighting, double vanity mirrors, new shower door, new toilet, and updated towel racks.



Just like that, we were able to take a dark and dated ensuite and make it bright, cheery, and luxurious. Needless to say; BRING IT ON HOME DEPOT!! I’m loving the reno and design process and it no longer intimidates me. Paired with my decorating, it really ends a project on a high note. Knowing you were economical and saved money for the homeowners AND managed to make it look fresh, new, and stunning, really puts a smile on my face 🙂

Happy reno’s everyone!!!


Spring has Sprung


After a trip to my local market, I can officially say “spring has sprung!” I’m done with pumpkins and Christmas trees; give me those spring blooms!

There’s nothing more refreshing after a long, cold, and tiring winter than seeing color everywhere. I guess I’m not the only one who’s sick of various grey tones bombarding my senses. With that being said, picking up a giant bunch of pink tulips will put a smile on any gal’s face. Yes, they are girly. Yes, they are bright. And yes, they are bold. But I can tell you one thing, they are FABULOUS! And with Easter fast approaching, what better way to ring in the season?!

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So open up your cabinets and grab those vases folks, because these blooms need to be seen. Not to mention, they smell fresh, crisp, and look great in photos. Placed on a kitchen counter, bathroom vanity, or kitchen/dining table, these bouquets are bound to brighten up any room.

Spring is the busy season in the Real Estate world. Home owners are rushing to find agents, contractors, and stagers to give them advice on what they can do to make their homes stand out above the rest. Having a fresh floral element in any open house, not only will impress potential buyers, but will make any advertisement photo pop. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile. Little details mean everything!




A little feminine touch…

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Please bare with me the ramblings of a home decor obsessed individual. After staging homes now for a while, I’ve come to believe that a little feminine touch can truly go a long way. I mean, I was told this many times over in my staging classes, but believe it wholeheartedly by seeing it with my own two eyes. I started to ponder this after my most recent project I did for this lonely little condo…

After sitting on the market (unstaged) for a little over three months, Wilson Street Staging was called in. Now just to set the record straight, without all the “frills” this condo was cute with a capital “C.” It was in a fairly new building and had some great features (granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, big roomy balcony, etc). For someone like me, I could definitely see the potential within the space. BUT, alas, (age old story) no interest on the market…

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So this is where I came in with my system. I brought some charming pieces in with me (a beautiful couch, a nice plush bed, some trendy decor pieces). Most importantly, I introduced a pop of color. Which, by the way, seems like a small factor, but can really make a huge difference in the long run! For this cute little condo I accented almost every room with a touch of yellow (details on items at the end). BOOM! First day back on the market, already an offer.

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So what is it about that TLC, that “little feminine touch” that makes people go crazy for a space? Well, after contemplating this, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s warmth and familiarity. There’s nothing colder and more unwelcoming then walking into an empty house or room (devoid of any human touch). Note, I used the word “house” because it’s the little details that make a house a home.

Cozy and welcoming home furnishings add a sense of warmth and hospitality. A plush comfy bed with some bright yellow pillows says: “hello lover, let’s snuggle!” I use yellow quite often because it attracts the eye and livens up any space. Yellow is:

1. the color that captures people’s attention more than any other color
2. represents optimism and courage
3. the color of enlightenment and creativity
4. in almost every culture it symbolizes happiness and warmth

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It’s little thoughtful details like a meaningful color that can make a person feel right at home. Ultimately, that’s what makes the difference between selling and not selling; making any person feel like they’re right at home 🙂

Lastly, (for a winning combination) I like to mix the old in with the new. Everything shiny and brand new makes a space feel a bit contrived. There’s nothing I love more than hunting for antique or vintage pieces from times past and incorporating them into a space.

Some of my favorite and most used items are my grandma’s old antique serving tray (that I restored myself), and a collection of vintage novels I discovered in my mom’s old cabinet. Mixing these timeless gems in any project brings a little bit of home with me wherever I travel. They can invoke a smell of grandma’s fresh baked cookies or the warmth of a cozy fireplace. People relate to these pieces, therefore they relate to the space.

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These are just some thoughts that popped into this girl’s head over the past couple of weeks. Of course, staging and decorating are up for interpretation. The fun part about it is discovering your own proven system. Hopefully this has inspired you to go forth and make things pretty! (And remember that a little feminine touch can go a long way!!!)



(Pillows on both couch and bed from HomeSense Canada, Bedspread set from HomeSense Canada, Throw blanket on couch from Pottery Barn, Throw blanket on bed from Indigo, Decorative items on coffee table from HomeSense Canada, Dinnerware on breakfast bar from Indigo, Wall art in both living room and bedroom from HomeSense Canada)


Fall heaven…

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I don’t know whether I’m just hyper aware of all the fall decor this season in light of all the trendy “fall” posts on Instagram/Facebook, or whether people are simply more festive this year.

Either way, whether I’m sneaking a peek at my fellow neighbour’s fall display in Toronto or strolling the bustling streets of Chicago, I realized people are doing it up right this year. And I’m LOVING it!

The most exciting part is that it’s SO easy to do! You don’t have to be a regular Martha Stewart to incorporate fabulous fall decor into your home! A quick pop into your local grocery store or market can provide you with decor for days. And it’s inexpensive too. For only $4.99 you can buy yourself a small bag of white pumpkins (my favorite) that you can incorporate into any centerpiece, outside display, or harvest table. At this time of year, a little bit of money can go a long way when dealing with decor. These ghostly white gourds are festive, yet add a touch of class to any display. This year I mixed my mini pumpkins in with a bowl of green apples for a cool contrasting effect on my kitchen counter.

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All you need to get this awesome effect is:

1. A rustic looking bowl; which you can find at HomeSense, Pier One, Pottery Barn, etc, (mine is from HomeSense Canada)

2. Some fresh green apples (or red, if preferred)

3. And a small bag of white pumpkins, (incorporate them evenly throughout the bowl for a natural looking effect)

If you’re looking to create a really cool fall centerpiece for any table in your home, try a bowl of farmer’s gourds instead (mine are from NoFrills):

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Here I paired my bowl of gourds with some fall foliage, some old vintage books (I found in my mom’s antique cabinet), a skull candle from Pottery Barn, and a decorative antler from HomeSense Canada. In minutes, you’ve got yourself a coffee table display that will put any guest at any age in the spirit of the season. Feel free to rearrange your display,(it’s foolproof) and it’ll look rustic chic no matter how you pair your findings. And all for less than $60! Also keep in mind that once Halloween is over and stores start bringing in all of their Christmas stuff, they usually have amazing sales on their fall decor 🙂

Last but not least are my favorite decorative gems: fall mums! Literally found at any grocery store or market (I like the selection at Longo’s), these multi-colored beauties are a delight for the eyes and the nose. Whether it’s street decor or an outdoor display for your home, fall mums really add an element of color and festive cheer. Below is a photo I took this year of one of the loveliest B&B’s in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario:

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On my fall trip to Chicago, I was mesmerized by the vibrant mums, corn stalks, and pumpkins lining the Magnificent Mile. They opted for pinks and oranges to contrast with the famous white-washed color of the buildings. Aesthetically, it really worked well this year for the Windy City:

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Most importantly, have fun with it! There are no rules when it comes to decorating for fall. It’s a quick, cheap, and easy way to bring some festive cheer into your life!




Fresh Florals

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Walking along some of the quaint little streets in Heritage Markham Village, I was inspired by the bright and vibrant spring colors lining the walkways and gardens. Pinks, corals, and neon yellows found in fresh garden blooms really make a home pop on the outside and create great curb appeal. These lovely bright colors are sure to attract any passing eye.

Why not bring some of these colors inside your home as well?! Arranging some fresh flowers for your kitchen counter or bedroom side table not only makes your home smell like a spring garden, but brings life, color and cheerfulness into your home.

I really like to incorporate some floral decorative accent pillows or a floral print on my wall to bring the outside in! A quick trip to any home decor retailer can provide you with many different color fabrics and floral prints, (my pillows pictured are from Indigo).

So go bright or go home!!! It’s a foolproof way to lighten up your life when those dull rainy blues try to get you down 😉

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Rainy Grey Days

During this grey and rainy spring weather, use lots of light colours to brighten up your

home. Whites, creams, taupes, etc, will add some cheer as well as make any small

room appear bigger than it actually is!  Xo