Today I attended the Interior Design Show (#IDS12) at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and it was an amazing show as always!

One of the coolest features was ‘Design Icons’ presented by Azure where they presented five iconic furniture designs as enormous ice sculptures.

The Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll

The Chair by Hans J. Wegner for PP Møbler

The ice was melting slightly by noon so hopefully the sculptures will last throughout the weekend!

I also love this sectional sofa from Domison, the stainless steel base and clean lines give it a modern feel but the linen upholstery and loose back cushions make it feel comfortable and cozy unlike many modern sofas.

Domison Sofa

Tropics North booth was great, it was very busy so I didn’t get any other photos but I love the scale of their slatwall style privacy screening and the huge planter boxes. They also had some beautiful waterfalls that would be stunning on an outdoor patio.

Tropics North IDS Booth


Our new house is a split level so unfortunately we have a lot of stairs. We actually like the way the house flows and the different levels create different zones throughout the house without making it feel cut up. The worst part about having all of these stairs is that they all looked like this:

We looked at a few split level homes and they all had this problem, old dated stairs and oak railings and spindles. Some split levels actually have railings dividing the kitchen from the family room or the living room from the foyer. In trying to budget for renovations at each home we considered buying we had to keep this in mind as new railings and spindles can be quite expensive.

The simplest and least expensive way to update this style of staircase is to paint the risers and stringers white, leaving the treads in a wood finish.  Painting the spindles and sometimes the handrail also makes a huge difference and will instantly make the staircase look newer.

david phillips : drp KAT-21 traditional staircase

This painting project isn’t difficult but it requires a lot of patience! The wood finish will need to be sanded and washed with TSP, then you can brush on a coat of primer (be sure to purchase one that will adhere to wood, drywall primer wont’ stick!). Once the primer is dry put on 2 coats of a high quality latex semi-gloss paint.

We used Benjamin Moore’s Aura Satin in Simply White for our risers and stringers. It’s the same paint we have used on the trim and doors throughout the house so it looks cohesive and flows well which is important with our open concept layout. If you are painting the stair treads you will need to use a specialty floor paint, regular latex paints aren’t tough enough to last on a surface that gets foot traffic.

Since we had to have our hardwood floors sanded and refinished so we opted to go darker on the stain to update the floors so they looked more contemporary. We also decided to go for a more modern look with a glass and steel railing. Our contractor built the railing for us and had a custom piece of tempered glass made to fit the lower section. I painted the steel part of the railing in Para Paint’s Weathervane P2139-03 in an oil eggshell finsih.

Here is the finished result, it was definitely worth all of the hard work!

For our new master bedroom my inspiration came from this gorgeous geometric fabric from Designer Fabrics.

I absolutely love the pattern and the subtle gray and white colour scheme. It worked great with our existing coverlet and duvet cover so I ordered 2 yards of it and made a custom upholstered headboard which is the definitely the focal point in this room. The headboard was easy to make and a very inexpensive way to use this fabric.

The large window required a lot of fabric for draperies so I used a solid gray cotton double width fabric which looks great and was very affordable! The drapery system is called Ripplefold; it’s a very simple and modern heading which is typically used in commercial applications but it works beautifully on large windows and you tend to use less yardage than with pleated draperies. I love the way drapery finishes off a room but I don’t like fussy or overdone window treatments so the ripplefold style was the perfect solution.

I made the drapes myself and they’re actually very simple to sew. See directions here: . I used blackout lining behind the fabric for privacy, light control and to add insulation; this also gives the lightweight fabric some fullness and allows them to hang nicely. The drapes are hanging on a commercial drapery hardware system called KS Track. In my application I have opted not to use the ceiling or wall mount brackets that can be purchased, instead I drilled directly through the track and installed it flush with the ceiling for a cleaner look.

The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan (AF-690) from their Affinity Collection. I love this colour because works perfectly with my fabric scheme and it has a slight green undertone in it which warms it up. Grays can be very tricky to select as most silvery grays tend to go very blue when you see them up in a room. Grays with green undertones are much easier to decorate with, they marry well with almost any other colour and they have a slightly warmer feel which is great for a bedroom.

Overall I’m quite happy with the master bedroom for now. It still needs new flooring (or we may refinish the existing wood floors), some accessories and an area rug but that will come with time!


Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore Affinity Collection – Metropolitan AF-690
Drapery & Headboard Fabric – Designer Fabrics
Drapery Hardware – KS System
Pendant Light – Rona

This gallery contains 3 photos.

We’ve finished with the major renovations at our new house! There’s still more to do but I thought I’d share some before and after photos of our main floor. We removed two walls, had the hardwood floors sanded and refinished and gutted the entire kitchen. The kitchen isn’t complete yet but we’ve installed new Ikea …

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