How To Style Kitchen Countertops

This is a question I get all of the time! The kitchen can be overlooked when decorating your home, but it really makes the difference in creating a warm and inviting mood. You want to add a few pieces but don’t overload the counters so they look and feel cluttered. Here are some quick style options to get your kitchen looking as good as the rest of your house.

Kitchen Counter Styling Part 1.png

Tray, Salt, Canister, Planter, Utensil, Cutting Board, Art, Branches, Soap, Vase

Think about adding small vignettes in several areas of your kitchen. If you have space beside your stove add a round tray to fill with oils, everyday spices and salt, and maybe even an herb plant. This keeps everything looking organized and its extremely functional since you will have everything within reach when you are cooking. Place all of your everyday utensils in a beautiful container. Layer cutting boards leaning against a counter add in bold canisters. Make sure to add lux hand soap with a graphic label, art, and a large urn with real or faux branches. You may not have room for all of these pieces but even adding a couple will make a huge statement in your space.

Front Hall Design- 3 Ways- 3 Budgets

Front halls can be a tricky space to design and often get overlooked. This is normally a small space and a chance to make a huge impact. With just a few items you can make your entrance to your home inviting, stylish and functional. Don’t forget to add a tray to place keys, mail, change, etc… A mirror to check yourself on the way out the door and a stool so you can comfortably put on your shoes. I have three eclectic front hall design for you, in three different budget options. Let me know which is your favorite!

Option A- Budget Friendly

Front Hall 3 Way - Low _edited-1.png

Console, Mirror, Stool, Art, Tray, Vase

Option 2- Medium Budget

Eclectic Front Hall Design

Console, Mirror, Stool, Art, Tray, Vase,

Option 3- Higher Budget

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What Is Online Interior Design And Is It Right For You?

By now you have probably heard something about online interior design, e-design, virtual design or one of the other names that are out there. Like any level of design, there are many different options and quality of services available. I think a huge misconception is that it can’t be a custom quality option. That is exactly what I try to provide for my clients, each project is unique and custom to you.

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Artwork Roundup

Here is a roundup of some fun, affordable art that you can add to your space for a quick refresh. Also check out local artist in your area, you may be surprised what you can pick up and original art is always a great investment. My only rule with art is, buy something that makes you smile or that you love looking at.


Everything from Minted is designed by an independent artist. I use them all of the time for client work, you can purchase the pieces framed or unframed.

Minted Artwork Roundup_edited-1.png

1. 2. 3. 4 .5. 6.

Juniper Print Shop

I absolutely Love Juniper Print Shop, fun super affordable prints. You can either get an instant download or she has now added matte paper prints. I am eager to try her oversized prints that fit in IKEA Bjorksta canvas-style frames.

Jenny's Print Shop Artwork Roundup_edited-3.png

1. 2 .3. 4. 5. 6.


etsy is an amazing resource for all things home related. You can definitely get lost for hours looking but I have found so many amazing shop owners for art, lighting, pillows and accessoires.

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3 Kitchen Colour Combinations That Never Go Out Of Style

There is so much inspiration out there it is hard to decide what colour combination to select.  You don't want your space to be boring but you also don't want to tire of it too quickly either.  Here are three colour combos that will look great for years to come!

Classic White Kitchen

Studio Mcgee

Studio Mcgee

This combination can work well in so many spaces.  A few features can be switched up to make it work in more modern homes as well.  Start with warm wood floors, white cabinets, quartz marble look counters, mix of metals and warm wood accents and you will have a beautiful space.  

How To Get The Look: Classic White Kitchen

Studio McGee

Studio McGee

This combinations tends to work well in casual or relaxed feeling homes.  It can feel more eclectic depending on the accessories you add.  Grey can be a tricky colour to get right, it can look green or blue depending on the undertones and what you pair with it.  Grey cabinets look great with white counters and marble tile.

How To Get The Look: Classic Grey Kitchen

Elizabeth Lawson Design

Elizabeth Lawson Design

I LOVE this colour combination especially in a classic or modern home.  You can pair your cabinets with butcher block or marble, white or bold tile, the possibilities are endless.  I love adding brass fixtures and vintage runners.

How To Get The Look: Classic Black And White Kitchen


Holiday Styling - The Bar Cart

I am sure you are like me and  you are getting your home ready for holiday entertaining.  One space you don't want to forget is the bar cart, and if you don't have a bar cart or room for one,  you can set up an area on a table, island or console.  This will allow your guest to serve themselves and free you up to enjoy your party! 

Bar cart Styling .png

With any styling it is all in the layering.  I would start with a beautiful tray and arrange your bottles or decanters on top.  Then layer in bar tools, vase with fresh flowers or evergreens, the great thing with keeping a vase on your bar you can switch it out for the seasons or mood.  Add in some fun holiday decor, I love adding a bowl filled with vintage ornaments.  Keep everything simple and easy to access for your guests.  

Design Lessons :: How To Hang Art Work

I thought I would start a series with some common design problems, and show the solutions.  One thing that I instantly notice when I enter someone's home, is their artwork.  People tend to hang their art way above a sofa, I like to think of them as a grouping, so your eye needs to connect the two together.  

Here are some simple rules to follow, but of course I just use these as guides, I go with what feels right for the space.  

Art should be hung 6"-8" from furniture.

When hanging two pictures stacked, treat them as one piece with the center point between them being 56"-60" from the floor.

To determine what space to put between pieces, either go with the matte size or 1"-3" between pictures.

One Room Challenge :: Week Three

I was extremely excited this week when my IXXI box arrived.  It comes in this small cute package.

You lay it out like a puzzle and clip it together.

Progress is being made, walls are all painted.  Products starting to arrive, I changed my mind on the rug again, but it is here and I love it.  

I haven't been able to find a vintage media console.  If I don't come up with one I will have to buy something new.  Still lots to do, drapery, cushions, gallery wall, recover the ottoman, and paint the floors.  

Make sure to check out what everyone else has been up to this week.

One Room Challenge :: Week Two

Well I didn't pick any of my original choices, I have decided to keep it family friendly but a little more glamous, which is much more in keeping with the rest of my home.  

Family Room Mood Board

This has been ordered for above the sectional.

Walls are being painted Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter.

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

Lot's of shopping left to do, make sure to check in with how everyone else is doing over on Linda's blog  Calling It Home.

Recent Design Work: Kitchen Design Plans

I recently worked on plans,  for a couple who wanted to open up their kitchen.  Their current kitchen has a peninsula which they may want to keep, and cabinets where the wall (in blue on the plan)will be removed.   They still are not sure if they are going to have custom cabinets made or go the Ikea route.  I designed three options for them to consider. 

** Online Interior Design offers affordable design solutions.  Get a professionally designed room, all online,  delivered right to your inbox.  Choose your package, upload your information, and your custom design with be emailed to you.  We would love to work with you, for more info, visit **

One Room Challenge: The Reveal

It is week six, of the One Room Challenge created by Linda of Calling It Home.  I am finished, I didn't get everything perfectly done, but I am extremely happy with the results, and exhausted!

The Before:


Here is what I added.

I got a ton done this week,

  • painted the floors

  •  trimmed up the island with square mdf trim since it used to be standard cabinets the back toe kick was open  

  • moved the shelf and added pot racks that I made from square mdf trim and hooks  

  • I didn't get a chance to add sconces, but I will do that in the future.

make sure to check out all the other reveals on Calling it Home.



One Room Challenge: Week Five

Yikes!! Week five, and I don't have much of anything more to show since last week.  I still have yet to complete my cabinets, I am almost there, but still a few loose ends.  

The floors need to be  painted in black and white stripes.

My countertop is here, but not installed.

All hardware needs installed, the doors are done, but I need to drill for the canopy pulls.

I need to move the one shelf and hang the pot racks below.

grieve kitchen.jpg

Also I decided I am going to install a few of these lights beside the window and also maybe in-between the shelves.  

I will push on and get it all done for the reveal next week, make sure to check out all the other One Room Challenge Linking Participants , to check out everyones progress.

One Room Challenge: Week Four

You  can check out previous weeks of the challenge here: week one, week two, week three

I am coming along with the painting of the cabinets, I will make sure they are completed by the end of the weekend. It is looking so much better!   Goodbye ugly stained cabinets!!

As for the floors, I have decided to alternate rows of black and white, something like this picture here.  

   .Photo source  here.    


.Photo source here.


I have come up with a plan for the far wall, which the island used to run on. I am going to move the one shelf adjacent to the other and mount a pot hanging rail system underneath.  I drew it up on AutoCAD to see if it works. I think it's the perfect scale and look that I was after.  I originally thought about a narrow shelving unit but I think this will free up cabinet space and leave that area open.  

I am going to use the IKEA Fintorp system, I have used it before and it's inexpensive and works well. 

I am still waiting on the island top, I am sure it will be here soon.  I have tons left to finish, everything always takes so much longer then you plan.  Make sure to check out the other bloggers progress this week

One Room Challenge: Week Three

This weeks progress is going slower than I had expected.   I thought I would be able to devote a couple of days to painting my cabinets, but I was busy with design work. I am not going to complain about that,  I will just push extra hard next week to get it done.  

I did start priming, and some cabinets have a first coat.  It is looking a bit rough at this stage, but I thought I would share some pics anyway. 

 I scored these amazing bar stools at a thrift store this week, for $80.  I have been searching for bar stools and I hadn't found any that I loved.  When I saw these, I immediately started dragging them to the counter before someone else wanted them.  I am debating leaving them as they are, a bit scuffed up, but the upholstery is in good shape, or spraying the base and reupholstering.  I would love your thoughts on this.  

The island counter is ordered, and came in at just over $300.   That is a contractors cost but it wouldn't be too much more  for retail.  It is hopefully going to arrive next week, and the hardware arrived yesterday.  My goal is to have all cabinets painted and hardware on for next week.  Wish me luck!  Make sure to check out all the other amazing One Room Challenge Linking participants.





One Room Challenge: Week Two

Progress is rolling right along, if you are just joining in for the first time you can check out last weeks post here.  

To refresh your memories, here is  the hideous before.

  I have ordered Martha Stewart's  button knobs, and canopy cup pulls from  the Home Depot.  For what I needed it came out to be about $120,  which is pretty great.  Obviously that's Canadian, because I am sure it would have been half that in the states.  



I have begun painting out the ugly green ctops on the sink wall.  They will need probably three more coats.  I know its not going to last forever, but it is a way to clean them up without the cost of removing the counters and tile at this point.  


I am fairly positive this is the ctop for the soon to be island, and the paint colour.  It is a laminate counter from Formatop, called FX Strata Olympico Gloss.  I think once it is installed, you would be surprised that it is a laminate and not a solid surface countertop.  I am just waiting on the quote back on cost, I will let you know what it works out to.

The cabinet paint colour,  which is Benjamin Moore 2121-10 Gray.  I feel like its the perfect fit.  I wanted it dark but not black so more of a  grey/ charcoal but that has major impact.  I think this will do the trick.

I am also debating doing a graphic black and white painted pattern on the floor,  instead of just white painted floors.  This will entirely depend on if I have time in the end.  I hope to have lots more to show you next week, and in the meantime check out the other 150 bloggers/ designers joining in on the  linking event. 

One Room Challenge Linking Participant

I have decided to join the One room challenge linking event once again, since it forces me to complete another room in my house, and to consistently blog.  For those just stopping by for the first time, I am an Canadian Interior Designer who does local and online interior design. 

The room I selected to complete is my hideous kitchen.  We have plans to do a major overhaul down the road and to open up the back of the house to the backyard, but it needs a quick fix in the mean time.  Here is the before, it's a  run down country kitchen in a 1890's  house.  Needless to say it looks out of place.

This is the direction I want it to go.  

The Plan....

one room challenge design board.jpg

By flipping that cabinet and turning it into an island, it will give me a large counter prep area, and create a better spot for the kids to hang out while I am cooking.  I need to find a narrow shelving/ cabinet unit for the wall where the cabinets used to sit.  It will also create a better site line to the kitchen from the front door.  

 Well I have tons to do, so I better get going so I will have some progress to show for next week.  

Quick Light Fixture Update

As I am finishing up my daughters room, I needed two light fixtures.  I didn't want to spend a ton on them, so I picked up two light fixtures from Ikea, the Kristaller Chandelier.  They were almost exactly what I was looking for expect I needed a gold finish.


I picked up liquid leaf classic gold from Michaels, and the great thing is I got it on clearance for $2.99.    

It went on smoothly, and was overall a quick job.  Here is the after, and now it fits in with all the other gold touches in the room.  

** Online Interior Design offers affordable design solutions.  Get a professionally designed room, all online,  delivered right to your inbox.  Choose your package, upload your information, and your custom design with be emailed to you.  We would love to work with you, for more info, visit **