Posted on August 12, 2016
A look inside
Have you ever dreamt about what your home could be? What would you do to change a space? How would you like to feel in the space?
These are all relative questions-ones we(Ryan & I) spent plenty of time asking ourselves while we walked the process of designing our forever home. 2 years ago we moved into this unique space and since then , we’ve slowly been working on achieving that feel we want in each room.
Now you need to know this about me. I can be a perfectionist, not that that is entirely bad, but it does present some challenges. This trait makes me well suited for detailed design work but when it comes to sharing my less than perfect spaces(or perceived less than perfect spaces) with others, well, that’s more of a challenge for me. In an effort to push my boundaries I’m going to show you a few features of our home with the hope that it inspires you to think about your space in a new way.
Where should I start? How about the room I spend most of my waking hours in-the office.
This space was one of the main design drivers when we started working on our blueprints. We wanted a clear definition of spaces…living space(Kitchen, Dining, Living) at the front of our home with the private spaces(bedrooms & bathrooms) at the rear. We decided to use the office as the separator between these two functions & boy, am I ever glad we did. We created these small cut out transom windows in the office to let more light in from the deck doors. Light was a major priority for me as my old office was in a basement with no natural light-not exactly the welcoming feeling you want going to work.
My office is filled with items(some sentimental) that bring me immense joy & inspire me on a daily basis. For those of you who have every studied any Feng Shui you’ll know that words are the Fire element…they symbolize energy, passion, feelings of expansion & transformation.
My desk is made of Recycled solid FIR lumber which, going back to Feng Shui, is the Wood element. This element symbolizes productivity, growth and health in the space. The rectangular shape and configuration of my desk brings in the Earth element which symbolizes stability, safety and a sense of being grounded. This grounding anchors my intentions each day.
You’ll also see hints of metal in my shelf design, this brings the element of Metal. Metal symbolizes mental activity and intellect. I think you’d agree, both are required in owning your own business!
Last but not least is the element of Water. This element symbolizes being in the flow & emotions. I think overall this was one of the first elements I brought into the space, I loved the feature it created on the wall & how much additional light it reflected back into the space. Sometimes it really is the smallest elements that can bring the most joy.
Now, the crazy thing here is that I didn’t know that much about Feng Shui when I first started the design of my office. I just knew how I wanted to feel! By searching out the items that made me feel light, open, creative & driven I inadvertently found all the elements in my space. How amazing is the universe!!
How can you make a hallway seem interesting? Add some texture! We added recycled wood beams to the ceiling of our hallway to highlight that a hall doesn’t need to be boring. Our home had 9′ ceilings so this just seemed like such a logical place to interest & in the end, gave us a story to tell people as well. The recycled wood for this feature came from a grain elevator in Cabri Saskatchewan.
These beams are solid FIR and are oiled instead of stained, allowing more of the wood grain show through and also more of a natural feel to the wood. You can see the life in these beams and although they were a headache for the builder to get in, they bring such character and interest in I wouldn’t change it for the world.
The last 2 areas I’m going to show you pictures of are our bathrooms. Our thought is that we wanted to conserve on bathroom space, which typically you don’t spend a lot of time in, and use that square footage elsewhere in the home. In our case both bathrooms(main & ensuite) are in a 8’x5′ size. In order to make these rooms feel a touch bigger we opted to use solartubes in the ceiling of each room to let more natural light into the space and anytime you can add natural light you can make a room seem larger than it is.
Inspiration for the main bathroom, and this could sound a bit funny, came from my memories of the old school building in a local small town. I remember vividly going into that building and thinking the sinks were so cool & loving the wall tile. The running joke when people come over is that our bathroom sink is large enough to butcher chickens in! Sorry if you find that offensive but I’m a farm girl, it’s part of my upbringing.
I have 2 favourite features in our Master Ensuite…the tile configuration & the floating corner wood shelves.
I must admit, I spent a fair amount of time trying to find the best tile pattern for the shower. In the end I think I achieved what we had in mind…fun & functional without being incredibly expensive. When in doubt use white subway tile for a classic look, it’s less expensive and just holds up over trends and changes like nothing else.
The corner shelves were a way to add extra storage to our bathroom. These were made from the leftover cuts of the beams in the hallways. These little shelves couldn’t be more practical because really, what else do you do with a corner like this? Storage is always on my mind when I’m designing smaller spaces and I look at every nook as an opportunity to design a special feature unique to the home. And yes, I love beautiful perfumes!
I truly believe that the spaces we live in can alter our moods, feelings and either deprive or fill us with energy. This home has brought us immense creativity, comfort, memories all while keeping us grounded. It holds a space for our lives to be lived & that my friend, is priceless.