Home is about the people who live in it. My husband and I believe a well thought out design creates a space for calm, peaceful living. This home tour features my top three favourite spaces and our journey to create them.
We met in 2008; by 2010 we had designed and built our first custom home on a quiet dead-end street with a beautiful view of Lake Huron. We enjoyed this house for five years. During which time we welcomed our son Reed and learned the many lessons of custom building and home ownership. And then things changed. Sadly and with little notice, the town extended our street making it not-so-quiet anymore. It seemed that organically (and really, before we knew it) we were searching for land. Along with the changes to our community, our lives were changing. Our little family of three craved a different style of home than the ‘modern beach house’ we had once thought was so perfect.
Fast forward to 2015, with a fifteen-month-old baby in tow, we embarked on the journey of building our dream home (again). Our needs had changed, our style had changed and most of all, I had changed. I was now the mum of a beautiful baby boy and I longed for a home in a quiet area, surrounded by trees. We feel fortunate to have found the perfect piece of land to build a home that embraces nature and allows us to appreciate the quite of a (forever) dead-end street.
Here I feature my top 3 favourite spaces in our home.
Isn’t it just so true that the kitchen is the heart of the home? Our kitchen is our gathering place, it’s our entertaining space, it’s our messiest room (if you shut the door to the laundry room) and it’s our classroom. I love spending days baking and teaching Reed about fractions (“two ‘half-a-cups’ make a whole one”). And teaching him about healthy, nourishing, natural food and ingredients.
I knew I wanted an all-white kitchen. I actually wanted this in our first home but Mike convinced me that natural maple would have a more modern feeling. And while the wood was beautiful (and definitely modern) this time I followed my heart and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. We chose a shaker style door custom coloured in Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White. I designed the moldings to take the cabinets to the ceiling and added simple brushed nickel hardware. I love the simplicity of the Ceasarstone quartz countertops (here) and the natural marble subway tile backsplash. And the proverbial ‘cherry on top’ for me are the pendants over the island. I wanted fixtures that made a statement and created a feeling of warmth. These are from Pottery Barn (found here) and I think they accomplish this look perfectly.
My love for the kitchen extends into the dining room. I struggled with this room while drawing our home. I was afraid it would feel too long and narrow. This lead me to the decision to place two large scale light fixtures over the table (found here). I think this unifies the room and gives it a proper centre. We are amazed at how inviting this space is each time we gather to share a meal with family or friends. We have had some of the best conversations (while enjoying some of the best food) in this space, what could be better than that?
A big focus for me throughout our home was the lighting. I’m a firm believer that lighting can make or break the feeling in a room. In this space, we gave ourselves plenty of options by having multiple circuits for lighting combinations. Another of my favourite features is the buffet ‘nook’. We specifically designed this space to include a bulkhead to bring the lighting a bit closer to the art. I love that the nook allows the table to be tucked away, outside of the flow of traffic. This table is a very special piece as it was the first piece that my husband built for us. It is made of solid walnut and features a live edge. I had fallen in love with a similar table that I found in a local restaurant so Mike got busy creating the drawings for the most structurally sound live edge buffet table. (And in my opinion, it’s even better than the inspiration piece.)
Keeping on the topic of tables, our dining table was also handcrafted by my very talented husband with the help of his very talented Dad. We used a combination of inspirations to come up with this design and we are thrilled with how it turned out. It truly is a place to gather and break bread.
Formal Living Room aka The Coffee Room
We made the decision to put a formal living room in this home. Our last home was basically one large open room and we struggled with dividing the space while entertaining (or simply living). We do not watch much television, in fact we don’t have cable (although we do enjoy movie night or a good Netflix binge). We decided that we wanted a room that did not have a TV; a place that welcomed lengthy conversations away from distraction. Secondly, when Reed was born Mike and I made a rule that for 20 minutes a day he would not be our sole focus. (I know, we were dreaming, right?) Our goal is to sit down, have a latte and it’s Reed’s job to entertain himself. We chat with each other and with Reed while he plays and we get to focus on enjoying a quiet family moment. Because of this, our son has (appropriately) named our Formal Living Room, ‘The Coffee Room’.
The design of this room was centered completely around the fireplace and of course, the light fixture (found here). In my endless search for inspiration during the design process, I stumbled upon this fixture. I had no idea where I would use it but I knew it needed to find a place in our home. The stone on the fireplace was sourced locally and the timber mantle is a reclaimed piece from an old barn. I love mixing the old with the new and the clean lines with rustic woods. It just feels like home.
I look forward to sharing more spaces in our home with you. We have so many projects we have already completed and ones that are still on our (very long) list. Let me know if there is something you’d like to see! I’d be happy to show you around. Want to shop my home? Click here.
Are you building a home? Renovating? Redecorating? I could spend hours chatting about this topic and would love to share ideas or to answer your questions about our experience.