Before & After: What the Doctor Ordered

Before & After: What the Doctor Ordered

We are so excited to show you all the Before & After photos from our "What the Doctor Ordered" project! We absolutely loved working with the amazing owner to turn her dream house into a reality. Many hours of laughter (& reviewing wallpaper patterns) went into creating the perfect home, full of love & personality. 

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Current Obsession: Shelves

Maybe its because I love all things storage, maybe it's because I'm in love with #ThingsOrganizedNeatly, maybe it's something else entirely, but I can't get enough of open shelving these days. We've been incorporating beautiful open shelves into our clients homes as of late, whether it be in the kitchen, den, or bathroom. Amanda (aka Sparky) has crafted beautiful open shelves clad in Walnut that make me green with envy (see below) and we use niches & built-ins to give our clients more storage space.

My own shelves at home are filled with our books (arranged by colour),  my record collection. plants, photos, and coffee cups. Of course you can put whatever you want on your shelves to make them unique! Open shelves can be anywhere...in the kitchen (check out the top right island), surrounding a living room fireplace, in a zen yoga space (niches, bottom right)...wherever tickles your fancy!

Storage is coveted. One of the most common "wants" we get from our clients is for more storage space. Closed shelving is awesome for hiding away your inner hoarder, but can weigh down a room. Open shelves allow the space to feel, well, open! A great way to balance a room is by combining opened & closed storage.

Can't commit to permanent shelves? Try opting for an open shelf (like the Sawyer Collection from Crate & Barrel, pictured above) that can be moved around in the future.

The versatility of open shelving is amazing. They can easily be added into most rooms, and styled to create beautiful motifs. 

Aims

All photos by Shane Kuhn, inFokus Design. Design by Revolving Rooms Interior Design, Built by Diamond Contracting Ltd. 

Balcony Basics

Though it may not look like it (cursed snow!), Edmonton's fleeting patio season is approaching! Even I'm excited, and I'm a self-declared winter lover. I need to get my tan on.

actual footage of me, every summer.

actual footage of me, every summer.

Although many of you might have large backyards with massive, gorgeous decks, some folks (aka me) are condo or apartment dwellers with cute balconies. Even if your balcony is petite, it can still be a summer oasis! Here are some tips to making your postage-sized patio feel a little warmer this summer.

1. Clean It Up!

After a grubby Edmonton winter, my balcony is always in need of some TLC. Dust & dirt seem to love collecting on balconies, so I start off by doing a good sweep. My husbands job is to clean the barbecue (inside & out) and wipe down the cover. I also wipe down all my railings & glass, and finish with a light mop of the floor. For those who live on the Main Floor or have an adequate drainage system, you might even be able to spray down your entire balcony. Just watch out for downstairs neighbours if you're using a hose!

2. Make Use of Outdoor Textiles

I believe in the power of rugs. And throw pillows, for that matter. Adding an indoor/outdoor rug, like the Crate & Barrel Sachi Blue Stripe rug (below, left), makes your balcony look like an extension of your home instead of an afterthought with a few folding chairs.

SOURCE: Crateandbarrel.ca

SOURCE: Crateandbarrel.ca

Source: homemydesign.com

Source: homemydesign.com

And why not finish the look by adding complimentary pillows and cushions to your seating? Either go for matchy-matchy, or mix things up with an eclectic/bohemian array of patterns & prints.

SOURCE: HomeDecorPage.com

SOURCE: HomeDecorPage.com

Source: AKUTCHLIFE.com

Source: AKUTCHLIFE.com

Source: APARTMENTTHERAPY.com

Source: APARTMENTTHERAPY.com

3. Channel Your Inner Gardener

I have been in my current condo for about 2.5 years now, and whenever I start to feel stir crazy, I add another plant to my home. They make me happy. And in the summer months, there's nothing like planting some tomatoes or lavender & getting a mini "crop" at the end (especially if you had to evict aphids). So what if you're one of those people who kills every plant they touch? Opt for fresh cut flowers or even (gasp) fake plants! Plastic props can be reused yearly...so you're totally saving green too!

Source: lecahier.com

Source: lecahier.com

Source: blog.afloral.com

Source: blog.afloral.com

Source: maplantemonbonheur.fr

Source: maplantemonbonheur.fr

To make the most of your space, find ways to create different levels for your plants. Stack wooden crates, invest in a plant stand (like the Satsumas from IKEA, below), buy window box or railing planters, and use your wall/ceilings space to hang pots! Using different levels for your plants will make your balcony look more dynamic.

Source: IKEA.ca

Source: IKEA.ca

Source: IKEA.ca

Source: IKEA.ca

My balcony garden usually consists of a few tomato plants, some colourful herbs & flowers (dahlias, lavender, alyssum, and bright green basil), a bunch of succulents, and a few creeper vines (sweet pea or yellow beans). I go a bit crazy, but even a few varieties will brighten up your balcony.

4. Dress It Up With Faerie Lights

Source: Weheartit.com

Source: Weheartit.com

source: buzzfeed.com

source: buzzfeed.com

source: buzzbuzzhome.com

source: buzzbuzzhome.com

Balconies usually come with something that backyard/suburban home decks do not: a view! Make sure you make your balcony accessible during the day & at night! Rig up some cute party lights or wind twinkling little faerie strings between your pots & railing. The result will be a chic & romantic balcony fit for Juliette. 

source: decoracion.facilisimo.com

source: decoracion.facilisimo.com

Source: Pinterest.com

Source: Pinterest.com

No outlets? No problem! Use tea lights and lanterns to create ambiance on your little deck. I even have a few solar-powered lights stuck in my planters. Hot tip: If you're using candles, get a citronella version & repel mosquitoes while enjoying your balcony!


There you have it! Follow these steps and make the most of your Edmonton Summer, regardless of patio size!

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