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Inspiration Board

I have to say, I love the bathroom issues here at H&H. Even though my own bathroom is the only renovated room in my house, I love daydreaming about the space I could have if I lived somewhere else. It's a mixed bag, but here are a few of my faves from around the way:

In truth, there is a good chance that if I moved, my new bathroom would look exactly like the one I have — white subway tile, white hexagonal tile floor, white walls, console sink. Especially considering that the one we have now is pretty darn close to the bathroom we renovated in our last house. But that won't stop me from dreaming!

For more inspiration, see our Bathroom Design & Decorating Guide.

Photo credits:
1. Marie Claire Maison, photography by Box Management Mai-Linh
2. Marie Claire Maison, photography by Mark Eden Schooley
3. M. Design
4. Kelly Wearstler's beach house, Metropolitan Home November 2009 issue, photography by François Halard
5. Studio Aandacht
6. Marie Claire Maison, photography by Vincent Leroux/Temps Machine


Kai Ethier

I love the look of grasscloth wallpaper in a room. It can instantly add texture and warmth to any space, and it suits many different decorating styles.

That's why I used it in my own living room in my last house (above).

I think it looks best on all four walls but you could use it as a feature wall like designer Erin Feasby did in this kids' bedroom.

Lately I've seen it in different colours, but the most popular so far is a soft green. Victoria Webster paired hers with a soft pink carpet in her principal bedroom — daring but effective.

For more wallpaper picks, see our Wallpapered Rooms photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1. House & Home Makeovers 2009 special issue, photography by Michael Graydon
2. House & Home March 2011 issue, photography by Donna Griffith
3. House & Home March 2009 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
4. House & Home January 2010 issue, photography by Michael Graydon


Cameron MacNeil

For me, one of the best parts about summer flea-marketing is the number of lawn games that seem to magically appear for sale. I do have a slight addiction to vintage croquet sets (you have probably seen a few of them as props in House & Home lifestyle shots — they are a bit of a summer go-to). If you don't have the patience or the time to troll the outdoor markets for things like badminton racquets, lawn bowling or bocci balls, you can get intact sets or hobble together pieces from many cute vintage shops on Etsy. Take a look at the ones I came across:

From Rustyboats.

From 5gardenias.

From Fishlegs.

But if you want them to function as well as look good, Pottery Barn is selling terrific repros on their website. All the pieces would be there ready for play, but the look is still fresh and fun. Like true vintage sets, these repros are dressed with summer stripes and colour:

Either way, whether for play or display, vintage lawn games are a summer classic. Pick some up before the season comes and goes!

For more outdoor inspiration, check out our Gardening & Outdoor Living Guide.

Photo credits:
1. Rustyboats' Wood Wedding Sign, Etsy
2. 5gardenias' Antique Wood Croquet Set, Etsy
3. Fishlegs' Vintage Croquet Balls, Etsy
4. Croquet Set, Pottery Barn
5. Lawn Bowling Set, Pottery Barn
6. Horseshoes Set, Pottery Barn


Meg Crossley

I can't wait for you all to see our June issue, on stands May 7th. I just finished working on our Weekend Decorating story, and I think you are going to be hooked!

The article asks readers to pick out the fantastic deals in a couple of rooms we styled. One trick we did in the story — and I hope this isn't giving anything away — is spray-paint the legs on an inexpensive piece of upholstered furniture to give it a more upscale look. Just a simple can of regular gloss white spray paint and 20 minutes of spraying breathed whole new life into a basic piece. This is going to be a new go-to in my decorating trick book!

Why not try it yourself this long weekend and share the results below?

See our DIY guide for even more easy projects to try.

Photo credit:
Stacey Smithers


Stacey Smithers

You could never call me a minimalist. In fact, I'm very much the opposite. Yet, there is a part of me that fantasizes about what life would be like with just the essentials. The most exquisitely designed essentials. This little daydream led me to investigate the work of one of the most extraordinary minimalists working today, John Pawson. I discovered a project that well and truly deserves to be described using the word awesome with all of its original powers and import.

The project is a 60-foot sailing sloop, appropriately called the almost nothing (with a lower case "a" and "n", naturellment). Pawson collaborated on the vessel with Italian yacht designers Luca Brenta and German builders Kiel. The results are truly jaw-dropping. A statement on Pawson's website describes the work:

The project's functional goal is to create the ultimate day racing yacht, built for recreational rather than competitive purposes, but with the highest levels of maneuverability. The aesthetic expression of these functional aspirations is embodied in the sleekest of carbon-fibre hulls surmounted by the geometric purity of a triangular white sail.

Perfect symmetry.

An elegant wheel and controls. And notice this deck design detail, which allows the helmsman to stand upright with his feet flat even when the sloop is seriously leaning.

The cabin below deck is pure John Pawson poetry, with pale-grained wide plank wood floors, heaps of white and smooth, seamless finishes throughout. This is the kitchen and dining area.

The expression "A place for everything, and everything in its place" is best demonstrated in boat design, don't you agree? And yet, why should we possess more or be less organized on dry land? That's a question for the ages.

Just past the dining banquette is this lounge, which can convert for sleeping.

The bathroom sink and faucet. Ultimate clean design.

The principal sleeping compartment tucked into the bow. Talk about a decompression chamber. The only thing that would make this place any more peaceful would be your own personal masseuse.

The view of the interior from the foot of the bed with a skylight that floods the area with sunshine.

Is it just me, or does this place seem like the perfect condo? Could you live à la the almost nothing? Or would you go batty?

Before you answer, take a moment to watch this breathtaking video of the sloop under sail test off of Sardinia. It will give you goose bumps, trust.

Video courtesy of Vimeo.

For more yacht inspiration, read Reiko Caron's blog post.

Photo credits:
1. From Plain Space by John Pawson (2010 Phaidon)
2. Luca Brenta
3. The Hansen Family
4a, 6a, 7, 9. John Pawson
4b, 5, 6b, 8. B-Yachts
10. From Plain Space by John Pawson (2010 Phaidon)


Margot Austin

We're about to embark on a decent sized reno on our home, so I've been spending every night pulling ideas. We flew down to Florida a few weeks back for March break — a much-needed break from the reno plans — and we had the luxury of a gorgeous pool on the grounds of our condo. We love the summer months, the kids love to swim and I know deep down they would love a pool in the backyard. Here are some "wishful thinking" ideas for a pool to call our own:

See our Perfect Pools gallery for more ideas.

Photo credits:
1. Elle Decor, photography by Roger Davies
2. Elle Decor, photography by William Waldron
3. Kris Allen Daily
4-5. Dornob


Sarah Hartill

Last week, I had fun helping my colleague Cameron MacNeil give a client's living room a fresh springtime update. The makeover and photo shoot was a one-day affair in which I drove around town picking up key decorating pieces. Cameron waited for the bigger pieces to be delivered as I zipped across the city to get lamps, pillows and more in the all-new Buick Verano. (This blog is sponsored by Buick Verano. Enter to win over $3,000 of chic home accents!)

Avenue Road was the perfect stop to find a small luxury bench. Here I am loading it into the spacious trunk.

Cameron found a superb place to display the handsome piece. Its classic profile and luxe details make it hard to miss when set against the marble fireplace.

After a few trips to various decor stores, I made a quick stop to pick up some cushions I had spotted a few weeks earlier. Finding the stores was a breeze thanks to the Verano's touch-screen navigation system. Plus, it was peaceful: the advanced QuietTuning™ technology make the typical noise of the city disappear. It truly is an unrivaled interior experience.

Even though I knew Cameron had enough decorative pillows for the space, I couldn't resist getting these ikat beauties, too. When I arrived back at the client's house, we both realized the cushions I had brought were a bit big for the space, but of course, Cameron had a solution to make them work. Watch the Online TV segment to see how these oversized cushions inspired Cameron's casual-eclectic sofa upgrade! Plus, stay tuned for my next blog on the makeover experience on April 18th.

Photo credits:
Jason Stickley


Reiko Caron

Nothing says spring like a bright, newly painted kitchen. Painting our wood cabinets out in a fresh shade of white has been high on our to-do list, and hopefully we'll tackle this project soon. First off, I've been browsing my favourite blogs for inspiration on whites that work. Here are a few ideas I came across.

I love the modern cabinets in this sleek white kitchen. The hue might be too "putty" for me, though.

Another modern kitchen with accents of charcoal grey, which we have as well. The contrast of the floor and cupboards here is really sharp.

Our kitchen has more traditional cabinets, however — similar to these.

Kitchens without upper cabinets seem more open and airy, but definitely lack the storage space that is so valuable. We'll keep our uppers, but I do like the worn finish of the lower cabinets here.

Designer Steven Gambrel always hits the mark with his tailored interiors, and this white kitchen is no exception. I feel like every white room needs an accent to ground the negative space. Here, black door and window trim pop when paired with white walls and a patterned floor.

For us, the grey and white backsplash we have will ground all the white cabinetry. It's similar to this backspash, but with more charcoal. The soft grey walls in this kitchen also add some dimension.

These ultra-glossy subway tiles are also beautiful, and add some texture to this kitchen. Love love love the Tiffany blue island as well, although I think I've maxed out my aqua limit in the house.

What are you favourite white paints for kitchens? For Lynda Reeves' top picks, click here.

Photo credits:
1. My Scandinavian Retreat blog
2. My Scandinavian Retreat blog
3. The Decorologist blog
4. Lovenordic blog

5. Steven Gambrel
6. RDuJour blog
7. Maddie's Nest blog, photography by Michael Partenio


Gwen McAuley

There are plenty of ways to add colour to your home — and no better time to do it than spring. Whether you like it loud or subtle, check out these colourful options and see what your level of confidence is!

If this peaceful bedroom is right up your alley, you probably believe that neutral is a colour — and there is nothing wrong with that! Layer your space with texture and different wood tones for a luxurious look.

Perhaps you're the type to add a few pops of colour to a base of neutrals. This is the best option for anyone who can't commit to colour long-term (or for us designers who fall in love with a new trend every other week!). This is an easy way to build up your colour confidence!

For those of you who are willing to throw a bright hue onto cabinets or furniture, hats off to you! This can be a very bold move, especially considering the work involved. The payoff can be well worth it too; this grass-green French-country kitchen is absolutely beautiful.

If this is your dream space, your colour confidence level is through the roof! Congrats for being such a dare-devil! Prints, colours, textures — this room is sure to showcase your lively personality.

What's your colour confidence level?
1. Low: Neutrals floor-to-ceiling.
2. Medium: Subtle pops of colour through accessories.
3. High: Bright paint seals the deal.
4. Soaring: Prints, colours & textures: not for the faint of heart.

Photo credits:
1. Restoration Hardware
2. House and Home Ireland
, photography by Paul Sherwood
3. Maison & Déco
4. New York Magazine, photography by Dean Kaufman


Reiko Caron

I was in London last week for a few days, and I discovered a very cute part of London — mainly because that's where our hotel was. The area is called Clerkenwell, on the east side of town. It was filled with great restaurants and local businesses, and it was nice to retreat to a quieter part of town after a day of sightseeing and shopping.

This was the lobby at our hotel, The Zetter.

The entrance to the The Zetter Townhouse (The Zetter's sister hotel).

I loved this floor at Côte Brasserie in Hamstead.

This is the amazing dessert I had at Côte.

A great place to eat in Clerkenwell, The Modern Pantry.

And lastly, an amazing cupcake in I had from Ella's Bakehouse in Covent Garden.

Read Suzanne Dimma's blog post for her favourite shops in London.

Photo credits:
1-6. Cameron MacNeil


Cameron MacNeil

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