Connect with H&H

For the Thanksgiving long weekend I spent some time in Haliburton at my family's cottage. Among the hustle and bustle of closing up the cottage for the winter, my mom, aunt and I ventured out on the rainy Saturday to Calder's Antiques & Custom Cabinetry. We are in the middle of finishing a mini renovation of one of our bunkies and wanted to explore some storage options.

With a background in Canadian antique furniture repair, restoration and refinishing, Calder's has three warehouses stocked full of wardrobes, hutches, chests, desks and chairs.

After being in the business of restoration his "whole life," Ed Calder gained a unique perspective on the impeccable solid-wood construction and distressed finishes that he and his talented employees expertly restore.

Now, among his huge inventory of antiques, he prides his business on custom woodworking and finishing — designing and producing anything from a small desk to whole kitchens. Above is a kitchen he designed and is in the middle of building.

Hanging on the wall when you walk into the warehouse is a small selection of the finishes and mouldings they can customize — there are boxes more as you can see on the right. They also have a paint deck available for custom colours.

In a matter of minutes, Ed whipped up a drawing of the small cabinet that we wanted for our cottage, which will be delivered in the spring.

And here are some custom pieces from Calder's that we previously had made for other rooms in the cottage.

For custom wood furniture in the GTA, read Margot Austin's blog post about Woodcraft in Markham.

Photo credits:
1-8. Lauren Petroff


Lauren Petroff

We've all been hard at work on the January trends 2013 issue (on newsstands December 10th), and in the process, I've been focusing a lot on accessories. With a plethora of options pitched for the magazine, there are always a number that get cut for one reason or another. While they may not be right for the January issue, I still love the look of these geodesic pieces. They're faceted, geometric objects that would look great in any space. They can be functional or simply objet used to accessorize a vignette. Here are some of my picks:

These vases by Dwell Studio come in matte black or white and range from $20-$95.

Here are some metallic options that would look great collected on a tray or bookshelf. The first is from Dwell Studio and retails for $173. The second is an intricately cut brass candleholder from Design Within Reach — think of all the warm light and interesting shadows it would cast! It's on sale for $66 USD, so order one sooner rather than later.

These sculptures are by Made Goods, available through South Hill Home in Toronto.

Restoration Hardware carries this beautiful geodesic terrarium. It would look equally great sitting empty on a shelf. And finally, this bone china and glass box by British artist Andrea Walsh offers a great two-toned option.

For more modern inspiration, see our Contemporary & Modern Living Rooms photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1. Faceted Vases, Dwell Studio
2a. Diamond Cube Objet, Dwell Studio
2b. Tom Dixon Etch Candleholder, Design Within Reach
3a. Made Goods Senet Object, South Hill Home
3b. Made Goods Cole Object, South Hill Home
4a. Geodesic Terrarium, Restoration Hardware
4b. Large Square Faceted Box, Andrea Walsh Ceramics & Glass


Lauren Petroff

Before starting at House & Home, I was working on a two-year masters program in Toronto. With all the late nights spent reading and writing, I really benefitted from having an office in my apartment. It wasn't pretty, but it definitely provided enough work and storage space.

The spare room is a decent size, but once I had finally graduated it became wasted space. The room with great storage continued to be just that — a room to house all of my junk. That's when I had the brilliant — although admittedly self-indulgent — idea to transform the office/junk room into a walk-in closet. I wanted to create a lighthearted and unique room that allowed me to hang and see my clothes and shoes. The main difficulty of course, would be fitting it within my very limited budget.

Here are some of my inspiration shots of gorgeous walk-in closets:

Taking inspiration from these feminine, high-end dressing rooms, I attempted to translate the look of built-ins with a very skimpy budget.

I repurposed a shelf and desktop from Ikea into an island for the centre of the room by painting the shelf and wrapping the stainless steel tabletop in fabric.

To create hanging areas, I used four tall Expedit bookcases from Ikea with rods attached between. I secured each shelf to the wall with heavy-duty plugs, since the rods would be weighted down significantly. For the rods, I picked up some sturdy, non-extendable curtain rods in 1-1/8" widths from Designer Fabrics in Toronto.

I used side-mount brackets — also from Designer Fabrics — to secure the rods to the sides of the shelving units, and metal plugs specifically designed for hollow-core doors and walls — important considering the amount of weight distributed along the rods.

Here are some in-process shots for the project that was only supposed to take me two weeks, but ended up taking the whole summer.

Inexpensive Ikea shelves are sturdy enough for shoes, and keep the sightlines open.

And with a few more ingredients and finessing, here is the final product:

Now onto the next project — actually organizing my clothes!

For more ideas, see our Closets & Dressing Rooms photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1, 8-12. Lauren Petroff
2. Reasons to Breathe blog
3. Reasons to Breathe blog
4. Reasons to Breathe blog
5. Expedit shelving unit, Ikea
6a. Expedit tall shelving unit, Ikea
6b, 7. Rod and bracket, Designer Fabrics


Lauren Petroff

After flipping through the new October issue of House & Home — on newsstands this week — I was really drawn to Cameron MacNeil's DIY project of turning Instagram photos into wall art. I always think that rooms feel more complete when there is something interesting or artistic on the walls, so I'm looking for something with high impact for my own apartment.

I found a great option after recently scrolling through my Twitter feed. Back in October of last year, BlogTO posted about vintage photographs of Toronto at nighttime. These photos are not only beautiful and graphic, but rare — when compared to day shots — because of the long exposure time needed on cameras from the 1950s. Even better, they're available in a number of sizes and for incredibly reasonable prices on the City of Toronto Archives website.

BlogTO posted 31 photos, but this one is by far my favourite. Prints can be ordered as large as 16" x 20", so this could be a stand-alone piece. A selection of six or eight of these night shots would also create impact if framed in simple white matting and black or white frames, grouped close together on a white wall.

Here are some of my other favourite shots:

Create an easy and affordable gallery wall by custom ordering mats from DeSerres or Michaels to fit basic Ikea frames.

Ribba frames in white, black and aluminum are always popular.

How have you added a bit of personality through art? Comment below!

See our Great Gallery Walls photo gallery for more inspiration.

Photo credits:
1-4. BlogTO
5. Ribba Frames, Ikea
6. Ribba Frame in aluminum, Ikea


Lauren Petroff

Recently, I was lucky enough to spend a week down in Turks and Caicos with my family for an end-of-summer vacation. The island of Providenciales is the destination for most who travel down to the white sand beaches of TCI, and you may remember Suzanne Dimma's trip there last April.

Although the cooler months are approaching, let's make the most of these last few weeks of beachy inspiration. Take a cue from the colours and textures of the Caribbean when styling your indoor and outdoor spaces this summer.

While in Turks, I was intrigued by this great interior design shop called Belongings. I loved the look of the store and really appreciated their translation of the sand and sea into tangible and translatable products and vignettes. They offer both interior design services and sell island-inspired furniture, textiles, art, lighting and accessories that are elegant, not kitschy.

Check out how these beach treasures have been collected and displayed under glass domes and bottles — clever. I also like the references to worn, sun-bleached wood in their offering of case goods.

This tablescape offered an interesting mix of handmade pottery, modern wood pieces and glass elements. The combination of black utensils with blue-grey glass plates also caught my eye as a cool and casual pairing.

Finally, although it's more overtly beachy, this collection of cushion patterns and art would be perfect in a Canadian cottage for a hit of the tropics.

For more beachy decorating ideas, browse our Seaside-Inspired Interiors photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1-5. Lauren Petroff


Lauren Petroff

My parents have been living in the house I grew up in for more than 20 years now, and have spent about that much time making changes to suit their style. From large-scale renovations to simple paint colour changes, they've embraced the mentality of transforming a house into a home by making it their own. Everything, that is, except for the main bathroom. For so many years it wasn't a priority because they have their own ensuite and didn't have to endure the late '80s/early '90s time warp that was the "kids'" bathroom.


Stark navy and faux white marble tiles scaling the walls, generic chrome fixtures and mismatched cabinets desperately needed updating.

With a little (er, a lot) of coaxing from me, and the help of Toronto-based Splashworks Kitchen + Bath, they recently finished the overhaul. Although the floor plan and plumbing remained largely untouched, the introduction of different textures, shapes and cool monochromatic tones created a serene new space.


Marble, Caesarstone and ceramic surfaces lend a clean yet warm feel. The height of the ceiling was enhanced by painting the sloped peak the same colour as the walls and installing a statement pendant light to draw the eye up. The sculptural fixtures, all from the Axor Montreux line by Hansgrohe, have an old world feel and balance the modern space nicely.

The vanity and medicine cabinet, which was designed and manufactured in-house by Splashworks Kitchen + Bath, are both functional and substantial stand-alone pieces. The frosted door, from Bauhaus, created a few headaches, but allows light to spill into the hallway while still offering privacy.

Although I no longer live in this house with my family, I'm still happy that the puzzle feels more complete.

See more bathroom makeovers in our photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1-2. Lauren Petroff
3-6. Splashworks Kitchen + Bath


Lauren Petroff

Comment Guidelines

We welcome your feedback on H&H reserves the right to remove any unsuitable personal remarks made about the bloggers, hosts, homeowners and/or guests we feature. Please keep your comments focused on decorating, design, cooking and other lifestyle topics. Adopt a tone you would be willing to use in person and do not make slanderous remarks or use denigrating language. If you see a comment that you believe violates any of the guidelines outlined above, please click “Flag as inappropriate.” Thank you.