2022 Fall QE2 Lottery Dream Home

We’re so excited to share with you one of our favourite projects – the newest QEII Home Lottery Grand Prize Showhome.

This gorgeous home built by Stonewater Homes featuring over 4,500 sq. ft. of living space and is set on 1.84 acres right on Kinsac Lake in Fall River.

Our team was responsible for the interior design, and staging/decorating of the home. These homes are always dear to our team’s heart because of the cause behind it all – supporting the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

Tickets to win this house are $100 each and can be purchased here: QE2HomeLottery.com

If you’re loving the furniture and décor, most pieces came from our new store Lane & Co. Go check it out if you haven’t already.

Updating Your Kitchen on a Budget

Your kitchen is often the biggest and most costly room in your home to renovate. However, if your kitchen has good quality cabinets and a decent layout, you can save money by reusing your cabinets (with some minor updating) and making other small, less costly changes that will give your kitchen a refresh without breaking the bank.

Updating Cabinetry Colour

Changing the colour of your cabinets will give your entire kitchen a whole new feel, and, if you are lucky enough to have solid wood cabinetry, then your kitchen refresh just got a whole lot easier. There are a couple of routes you might choose to take with your cabinets. You can either 1) sand down your wooden cabinets and update with a modern stain, or 2) give a light sanding and update your cabinets with a modern paint colour. Don’t worry, if you are reading this and wondering how to update your MDF cabinets, then we are here to tell you that you can still give your cabinets a makeover – you just need to do a little bit of extra prep and make sure to use the proper type of primer and paint.

Door Profiles

Do you know what we mean when we say door profile? It has to do with the detailing of your cabinet door/drawer fronts. A few common profiles are shaker, slab, single or double arch raised panels. There are MANY different profiles to choose from, and we couldn’t possibly list them all here, but they are generally different variations of the three styles above. The single or double arch is now considered dated and typically clients want that profile replaced. Shaker style is very popular and a good choice as they are quite classic.

Change the Hardware

Hands down, the EASIEST way to change the look of your kitchen is to change the knobs and pulls on your drawer/door fronts. There are hundreds (thousands?) of options out there and you can often find some for reasonable prices at your local hardware store. Since hardware is so easily replaced, you can have some fun here and not worry as much about whether you will be happy with your decision five years from now. The main thing to consider here is the scale of your knob or pull compared to the size of your cabinet door or drawers. They are definitely not one size fits all, so you might need to grab the same style in a few different sizes.

Update the Lighting

One of the best ways to update your kitchen is to add lighting. Many outdated kitchens only have one light fixture in the centre of the room, and that is just not enough! Your kitchen should have a combination of general lighting (such as evenly spaced pot lights), task lighting (like lighting over your sink, stove and under your cabinets), accent lighting (to showcase what is inside glass cabinets or on floating shelves) and most importantly pendant lights over your island.  Honestly, we sometimes encounter homes that don’t have lights over the island. Remember lighting is the jewelry in your home!

Updated Lighting

Update the Countertops

Changing out your kitchen’s countertops will have a HUGE impact on your kitchen’s style. Our favourite material to use in a kitchen is engineered quartz. It is a mix of natural stone and man-made resin, which comes in hundreds of different colours and patterns. It is highly durable and typically is what you will see in today’s new home builds. As pretty as marble countertops are, they are just not practical in a frequently used kitchen as they stain easily, and acidic foods will remove the polish resulting in certain areas looking matte instead of glossy. When it comes to granite, although it is a beautiful and durable natural material, it still requires regular sealing. It also chips easier than quartz and it is harder to hide the seams where the fabricators and installers join the pieces together. All in all, quartz is more durable than granite or marble, and there are endless colour and pattern options which make it hard to beat.

Countertop Update

Change the Backsplash

Last but not least, to give your kitchen a new vibe, update the backsplash. Like countertops, there are hundreds of options to choose from and many different materials. It is also not uncommon today to see the countertop material continuing up the wall for a clean, modern look. That might not be feasible if you are on a budget, but the good news is that backsplash tiles can be found at extremely affordable prices and makes it one of the best ways (along with new hardware) to update your kitchen for a low to moderate cost.

Proper Height for Your Dining Table Light

Adding a hanging light fixture over your dining table can have a huge impact on your dining room’s design. When placed properly, it adds an ambiance to the room that just can’t be achieved with a fixture that is flush to the ceiling. The tricky part is knowing how big the fixture should be in relation to your table, and how high it should be above your table’s surface. We deal with this often, and through our experiences we can provide you with some guidelines to follow when picking out and hanging a fixture over your dining table.

First, consider the scale of the fixture compared to your table. A fixture that is too small will feel underwhelming, and a fixture that is too big will take over the room. Also consider how big your dining room is. You can get away with a larger fixture if you have an open concept room. A small room might mean you need to go slightly smaller with the light fixture. Typically, the diameter of your light fixture should be about 12 inches less than the width of your table. So, if your table is 36 inches wide, then your fixture should be about 24 inches in diameter.

When deciding how high the fixture should be, the rule of thumb is for the bottom of the fixture to be about 30 to 36 inches above the surface of your table. If you have a really tall ceiling, you should add a few inches to that distance. This is a guideline only, so do what feels best while you are standing in the room. A few points to consider are that you don’t want it to be too low and shining too bright into your eyes while you are sitting at the table, but you don’t want it to be so high that it is not providing adequate lighting.

Always look at the fixture from various points in your home when deciding on the height. If you have an open concept dining/living area, go sit in the living room and look towards the dining table and light fixture. Also walk out and back in to the room, paying attention to the light fixture’s height and scale compared to the room and dining table. It is possible you will need to make some minor adjustments based on how it looks from all angles of the space.

When in doubt, give us a call and we will be happy to come to your home and guide you through the process. Even the smallest additions to your home come with many decisions, and we are experienced in making them.

Dining Table Light Height

2020 Spring QE2 Lottery Dream Home

We’re so excited to have just wrapped up the interior design and decorating on the Spring QE2 Lottery Dream Home with Stonewater Homes again! This beauty is nestled on Kinsac Lake in Fall River.

The home opens for viewings Feburary 29th and is awarded fully furnished to a lucky ticket holder.  Tickets are $100 and all proceeds go the QE2 Foundation. Visit QE2 Home Lottery to purchase your ticket in advance or tickets can be purchased onsite.

Feb 29th onward:
Weekdays: Noon – 6:00 pm
Weekends & Holidays: Noon – 5:00 pm

430 Heddas Way, Fall River





Drapery 101

We really feel a room is not complete until the drapes are installed.  Drapes add softness and layers in a room and put the finishing touches on a space.

How much fabric?

We are normally not concerned with whether or not drapes will be able to fully close. Where you may want to be able to close them all the way would be in a bedroom, however, most other spaces we are just dressing the windows. We love bright and sunny spaces so we love to hang drapery so it does not block any of the view or light.

When dressing a narrow window, one panel flanking both sides of the window is usually enough fullness. However, for most windows we bump the fabric up to one and a half to two panels wide depending on the set back available for the drapes to hang.  The set back is the space between the window and an adjacent window or a wall.

Note, if you DO want your curtains to fully close, then measure the width of your window, add at least 6 inches to each side and times by two for each panel.  This will allow your drapes to close but still maintain fullness.

We feel that drapery should be hung high above the window close to the ceiling. We always measure from the ground up to where we want the top of the rod to hit (if we are using rings), or where we want the top of the drapes to hit if we are using tab backs.

We really feel that drapery should be lined. Adding a lining to even store-bought drapes makes them feel specially curated for the space and gives them a custom look. Lining will add some weight to your drapes which lets them hang really nicely. Not to mention, adding a lining can help prevent your drapery fabric from sun damage, such as fading and weakening of the materials fibers.

Style of drapery

For a more sophisticated, expensive look, we like to use a white linen-blend material, lined, with a single pleat and then we hang them with black hardware and rings like in the photo below.

drapery style

Tip: we get our hardware from IKEA.  YES, believe it or not you can get this look with IKEA  hardware!

A great local source for us as well is Bellissmo and online with Tonic Living.

When styling a casual space, we will opt for hidden tabs which will still allow your drapes to hang nicely. This might be done in a rec room or just more casual home.

Rod Placement

To visually enhance the size of your window, and to maximize your room’s natural lighting, we typically place brackets 6-10 inches away from the window trim. This allows the drapery panels to hang to the sides of the window, without covering any (or much, depending on how full your panels are) of the glass. This tried and true technique will trick your eye into thinking the window is bigger than it actually is, and it won’t be blocking any of your sought-after natural lighting.

Our rule of thumb is to always place the curtain rod as high as we can above the window. This will add visual height to your room.

As noted earlier, we always hang drapes so that they are JUST ‘kissing’ the floor.


We know it can be hard to figure it all out. If you want custom drapes for your drop us an email to set up an appointment.


An updated living space with soft earth tones

For this project our clients were moving to Halifax and would be working in Halifax, but then travelling for months for work as well.  Therefore their home would be used as an airbnb while they were travelling.  We wanted to give them a space that they could enjoy themselves, but would appeal to airbnb renters as well.

We went with soft earth tones, lots of texture, and of course some wicker and we love how it turned out! Here are a few of our favorite photos.

We’re in love with the sectional from Article.com with it’s thin arms and tapered legs.  It’s not our first time using it and we have to say we love the quality as well!

For our pillows we selected warm earth tones again and added in some blue that we pulled out of the area rug.

We love to add tons of plants. Even if you don’t have a green thumb there are some great fake plants available now.  And of course we need some macrame thrown in there.

And check out those mix and match stair runners we incorporated from Wayfair!

Living room wicker chairs

livingroom orange tones

Mix and match stair runner

honeycomb shelf

How to get the look:

Sectional:  Burrard Sofa from Article.com
Rug: Roehel area rug from Wayfair.
Media unit:  Besta from Ikea (comes in different configuration and colours)
Side chairs:  Papasan chairs from Wayfair
Coffee table:  Rattan coffee table from Wayfair
Honeycomb shelves:  Made locally by DC Woodworks, find a DIY here compliments of A Beautiful Mess blog

Runners were a combo of three from Wayfair for a mix and match look:

Runner 1, Runner 2, Runner 3

Heat pumps spread warmth throughout the home

This is one of my favorite spaces in our home. This is our family room that is open to our kitchen and at the other end of the house from our main living room / dining room area.  There use to be an old fireplace in this room. I had no desire to maintain the old fireplace, deal with dirty wood being brought in all the time, or the nuisance of ‘making a fire’ so when we renovated the room, we tore it back to the fire box and capped and sealed it.

heat pump efficiency throughout the home

What about heating you ask? Let’s face it most real wood burning fireplaces actually suck the heat out of your house. And I wasn’t concerned about it being a heat source as we have a heat pump on this floor (a mini split one all three floors). It’s at the other end of the house but it’s strategically located to blow straight down both sides of the main floor. The one on this floor is our most powerful one at 18,000 BTU and it works like magic even at this end of the house. This end is maybe one to two degrees less than our main living room/dining room space where the heat pump is located.

Since heat wasn’t an important factor (thanks to our heat pumps), we tore down the ugly old fireplace and created our faux fireplace in its place. Yes, we thought about installing an electric fireplace but I figured we didn’t need it as a heat source so why spend the money on one? And honestly, I liked this look better! I wanted it to feel somewhat authentic though so I insisted that we would keep some of the dust and charred wood bits on the bottom.  So truth be told – the bottom of the firebox never gets cleaned.  And we joke and say our ‘fireplace channel’ is the lake out the window that is always moving (except when it freezes over). We’d never consider living without heat pumps now. We love the even, economical heating during the colder times and let’s not forget the air conditioning setting for the summer – BONUS!

To learn more about heat pumps and NS Power’s heat pump financing program click here.

fireplace design black


Worried a heat pump will cramp your home style – don’t fret

Let’s talk about this thing on the wall. Bet you thought I was talking about the wall baskets, but I’m not. You likely didn’t notice it – I’m talking about the heat pump in my living room. We were spending a fortune on oil heating, and after much researching by my fiancé on alternative heat sources, we decided on mini-split heat pumps so we could use different settings on each floor.To be honest we were a bit unsure of the location of the heat pump on our main floor at first. Here’s the thing – during a reno or new build people can get hung up on something visual when they are focusing on just that one item. I see clients do it all the time. When the room is not furnished or decorated, it’s easy to think that a heat pump won’t blend in with your home’s décor.

The way I see it – it’s not a lot different than an appliance in your kitchen. In fact it’s way more discrete than that. I’ve never shared a photo of a project and had someone comment about a heat pump in the room. I think most people would agree it really just fades into the background. So, if you’re contemplating getting one but are hesitant because you don’t want to notice it on a wall, I’d say don’t worry about it. And with white walls (my favorite colour!) it will blend in really well! Your pocket book will thank you too!

Want to learn more the benefits of heat pumps and NSPI’s financing program – click here.

Styled Wedding in Nova Scotia

If you’ve been looking for a wedding venue near Halifax, NS then look no further! Harbour Mist is a French inspired chateau that will take your breath away.  It’s simply stunning from top to bottom and has  192 feet of private oceanfront.

We recently collaborated with a team of creatives to do a styled wedding shoot at this luxurious venue.  Below are the gorgeous photos by Heather Durham

Antique settee wedding rental

wedding furniture rental Halifax, Nova Scotia

Details - Nova Scotia wedding shoot

Wedding dress styled shoot

wedding shoot details

French Chateau styled venue Nova Scotia wedding

Wedding stationery inspiration - wedding shoot

Coastal wedding - Nova Scotia styled wedding shoot

coastal Nova Scotia wedding shoot

A wedding here would be nothing short of a dream!

Amazing creative team:

Photographer + Creative Direction: Heather Durham Photography
Styling & Rentals:  Staged For Upsell
Floral & Event Design: Thorne and Thistle Designs
+ Local Flower Farmer + Floral Design Assistant: Barefoot Blooms
Rentals + Props + Styling: Staged For Upsell – Home Stagers & Redesigners
Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier Ivory & White
Bridesmaids Dress: @amsale from Bella Bridesmaids
Hair + Make Up: Kerri Bunn
Talent: City Models
Models: maggiesutherland.citymodels + kylehynick
Venue Location: Harbour Mist, Hubbards
Venue Inquiries: Oversea
Estate Rings: waltonsjewelry
Custom Invitation + Calligraphy: Silt & Pine
Vow Book: elmopaperstories
Calligraphy on Labels: Gracefully Made Art
Silk Ribbon: cocoonsilkribbo

Sandy & Allen’s Wedding

We had the pleasure of styling a gorgeous wedding for an amazing couple – Sandy and Allen.

wedding furniture halifax wedding stylist

Their big day was  held at the Halifax Seaport Market in downtown Halifax.  We had an amazing team of vendors that worked with us for pipe and drape, harvest tables, the large floral chandelier, the love letters, the gorgeous floral and on and on.  We brought in two lounge areas and other larger pieces such as the cake table, and guest signing/gift table.

Getting married and looking to create an amazing venue? We’d love to help!