Friday, April 20, 2012

Bits around this house...

Here are some tidbits from our home showing a few changes made over the past couple of seems I am always finding another project. Will I ever stop?

{great room}

I decided to add window grills to the windows at the back of the home. I don't want to cover up our amazing view with drapes or blinds but they seemed a bit bare, this was the perfect option in my opinion. I will admit when they first went on I had a slight panic attack, but after I got used to them a few days later I couldn't image the space without them!

{mud room}

If you have been following the blog for a while you know that I was struggling with a wallpaper selection for this space. After going through many samples I stumbled across this fun paper from Antrhopologie. It is quirky, fun, but I will admit...I am temped to take my colored pencils to it in spots, I think it would be fun to have little pops of color here and there! 


My name is Melissa & I am addicted to jars. Seriously, it is getting ridiculous, I want everything in perfect glass is slowly getting there and I will admit I love the look of it and so do clients. Pretty much every client that has seen my pantry since we moved in has requested one similar in their own home. The hubs though I was being a bit over the top with it, I now have my justification.

{dining room}

It is finally painted and it is perfection! I will admit a bit more blue than I was expecting once the whole room was done but it is the perfect balance with the tone of the wood work, fabric on the chairs, and the antique brass light and cabinet hardware. Please excuse the boxes everywhere, those are my drapes and rods from Restoration awaiting the hubs and his drill.


I wanted something special in our main level hall for a while, it is probably the most walked space in our home since it connects the main floor rooms to each other. When I was at Chapters a few weeks back I spied some great silver frames with linen matts, instant love. I ordered up 11 of them and they are perfection down the hall on both sides.

There is still work going on, the Hubs plantation shutter for his office is being installed next week, I have drapes to be hung in the dining room & M's room...oh, and yes, M's room, that damn mural I started that I keep putting off, along with a few other things for his room...then what about the Eskayel paper for the powder room, oh, and the lower level rec room...OK, so I still have lots to do, but I am making progress and since my home is the last priority right now (clients first) I think I am doing pretty good, it is all about baby steps and lots of coffee. Enjoy your weekend!! Mel xo

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Project Updates: Altadore II

Altadore II is rocking along, we have a possession on this home in June so there are trades tripping over each other left, right, and center. Regardless of it being just like Grand Central Station we are cracking along and it is almost ready to paint...when it really gets transformed. As most of you know I am all about the little details that some may over look, below is an example of a pattern I am repeating in the home to create consistency.

{kitchen & great room}

The kitchen is pretty much wrapped up and almost ready for paint/stain. There is an island in there, you just have to look beyond the table, tools, and materials. When I was at the site yesterday the great room built-in was being built. It has a similar design to the one at Altadore I but with a drywall & alder detail to make it unique.

{ceiling & study wall}

So here is where my little detail is being highlighted. The drop beam ceiling in the great room has a more funky shape than the typical cross beam design. I created a total nightmare for my finishers with the wall detail in the study that mimics the ceiling (sorry boys, but it looks fab). Once it is all painted out the same dark, rich, sexy color it will be awesomeballs!! 

I would have taken more images but even trying to walk thought this home was a challenge! Hardwood was being laid upstairs, cabinet makers were working on the vanities, and other finishers were doing closet shelving...I just wanted to get out of there before I started hearing the mumblings of 'Where is the coffee Mel?'. What can I say, I was short on time today, the coffee treat will have to come another day. Mel xo

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easy French Apple Tart...

Here is a great go to dessert that will WOW and is QUICK...can't get much better than that, can it?

I had to take a dessert to the in-laws for Easter weekend so I went to one of my favorite cookbooks, The Barefoot Contessa. I modified her French Apple Tart a tad and it was perfection, here is what I can up with and the easy peasy instructions...

1 package frozen puff pastry
4 green apples (granny smith)
1/3 C sugar
4 T unsalted cold butter
1/3 C apricot jam
3 T dark run 

Pre-heat oven to 400F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the thawed puff pastry till it is aprox. 1/4" thick, measure it out so it is 10x14 inches. Place dough on parchment paper and refrigerate while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Peel the apples, core, discard top and bottom and slice into 1/4" thick slices. Arrange the apple slices on the pastry starting in a diagonal and overlapping each slice. Once all of the apples are used sprinkle the full 1/3 C of sugar over the dessert. Sprinkle with cinnamon to your taste and liking. Cut butter into small dices and dot them over the dessert.
Bake for 45 min, until the pastry is browned and the edges have started to crystallize (it isn't burnt so don't worry!)

Heat the apricot jam and run together over medium heat until it comes together. With a pastry brush cover the tart with the jam/rum mixture, this will give it the gloss and an extra zing.

So above is what you will come out with, stunning, simple, yummy, and did I mention easy? It can be served hot or at room temperature, and during the long summer days, a scoop of ice cream would be the perfect finish for this. Hope you enjoy!! Mel

Monday, April 16, 2012

A BIG win & thank you...

So this past weekend was the Sam Awards hosted by the CHBA. It is pretty much the equivalent to the Oscars of home building in Calgary, lots of entertainment, bright lights, 1,700 people, and awards being handed out. This year we were up for two awards, Best New Home $850-999K & Best New Home $1mil - 1.25mil, with all of the categories there were over 750 entries, so to be one of 5 in each of the categories is huge and a honor. We ended up taking home this beauty...

{A quick snap after we received the award}

We won for the Best New Home $850-999K (land cost not included). The one and only Erica was with us to join the festivities and she said my face when they announced our name was priceless...I will admit I was shocked! The home entered for this category was Wexford II, here are a few reminders of that home.


So you know, it is not just the Hubs that makes it all stand up, or me that drives the trades up the wall with my ideas & designs, it is the team behind us. From our architects, to the suppliers, all the trades who work so hard...they are what helps make our product stand out. So thank you to ALL of you for your hard work, putting up with me, and always willing to help me find the perfect faucet, slab of marble, or are our backbone! Mel xo

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Covering my walls with raccoon...

No, not this little critter...

Raccoon Fur by Benjamin Moore

I I am excited to get this room done! Honestly, it has been a forgotten space since we moved in. It is one of the first rooms you see when you walk through the front it should kick some serious butt. Initially I was going to have our dining room chairs recovered, but the cost was just not something I was comfortable with. So my next option was simple, find a fabric that went well with the chairs and then a color to bring it all together.

The Raccoon Fur is just the color, it is almost black with hints of blue. It will allow the built-in hutch & killer Arteriors antique brass chandy to pop. And since I am the way I am, a procrastinator that wants everything NOW, I ordered drapery from Restoration Hardware. They had a color in the Thai Silk drapery line that was perfection with the chair fabric. Decided to go with French Pleat top panels, antique brass rods (2 shorties rather than one long one), and a length that will leave a puddle on the floor. Now I just need to sit here and wait, wait for the painter to show up on Friday and wait for the drapes to arrive at my door. Mel xo

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stripes + Little Ones = FUN

I love how something as simple as stripes can add so much to a space, especially one for the little ones in our lives. Since I have so many homes coming up occupants that are under the teen age I get to have fun, and I am hoping some of these ideas will make their ways into the homes...

via House Beautiful

via Cornerstone Architect

via Pinterest

via Kiki's List

via Tracery Interiors

Stripes are fun and youthful yet easy to grow with. I painted horizontal stripes in our gym and every morning at 6am they make me happy, at least that is what I tell myself.

So which home is going to get some stripes?? I guess it depends on which client agrees. Mel xo

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Recipe: Chipotle Chopped Salad

Quick and easy and YUM-O, that pretty much sums up this dish I made last week, an modification from a Cooking Light recipe. Be sure to add it to your dinner plan, you will not be disappointed!

1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 C reduced fat sour cream
1 T. minced chipotle chile, canned
2 scallions, diced
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. chili powder
1/4 C. fresh lime juice

5 C. shredded romaine hearts
2 C. chicken breast (for a quick dish use a rotisserie chicken) 
1.5 C grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 medium avocado diced
1/4 C. thinly sliced red onion
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 can corn kernels, drained

Mix all the ingredients together, toss well, and enjoy! Have I mentioned how good this was? The Hubs went back for seconds and thirds...same for the boys. Enjoy!! Mel xo

Friday, April 6, 2012

Blog Love Friday: Raspberri Cupcakes

I wanted to come up with a new weekly post that I can do, so how about a little blog love? We all know that getting exposed to new readers is a great way to have your blog how about some blog love? 

Raspberri Cupcakes ohhhhh my gawd is all I have to say. I want to meet Steph, the author, become her BFF  and devour every single item that this woman creates. Here are just a few of the amazing dishes that she has posted.

 all images via raspberri cupcakes

As you can tell from the pictures it is pure eye candy as well. Her imaging and set up is always spot on. While this discovery is incredibly bad for my diet and bum size and I find myself looking forward to her next post. Now run on over and start devouring this blog one post at a time, you will be inspired to get in the kitchen! Mel xo

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Altadore II Reworked

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago Altadore II is sold and this girl has been BUSY. I had a certain vision all lined out for this home but the client wanted something that would work with their existing furnishings and style. A few long days, trips to suppliers for re-selections, and too much time in my office...but we are done and it is going to be stunning. 



Quite a few changes as you can see. Less grey more warmth & less tradition more mod. Pretty much wrapped up with the cabinet drawings and the finishers have moved into the home, tile starts next week, lights ordered (all Visual Comfort & Arteriors). This one is on the fast track since the clients have already sold their home and come June will be either living in Altadore II...or our basement. Hope you week is going well! Mel xo

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A favor for my nephew...

A little over a year ago I posted the video below with my nephew's amazing rendition of Hallelujah (BTW the stunning blond is my sister-in law & his mother), if you are a new reader take the time to

So I wanted to share his talent again and as well ask for a small tiny favor, if you have the time please vote for him on the ArtistSignal competition HERE. The winner will receive money to help jump start their career. Oh, and the great thing, you can vote every hour for the next 67 days (hint hint). Thank you in advance for taking the time to listen to him and if you vote a big hug to you as well. Mel xo

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Watermark ideas, just a few...

I have started collecting inspiration for Watermark I and I am getting more and more excited with ever image I find. The clients have basically said I could do whatever I want...hello dream clients!!!
Ana White Homemaker | Pinterest | | Boston Design Guild | Pinterest | House & Home
A fun shape for the locker dividers in the large mud room. There is an amazing home office off the kitchen, the perfect space for the client to keep a close eye on the boys while they are doing their homework. Whimsical shaped tile for the laundry room backasplash. Dropped beams in the kitchen, nook, and great room area similar to the kitchen image above. Thinking one of the bathrooms on the upper level needs a fun floor, possibly chevron in more vibrant colors?! And going back to the laundry room...a happy & bright cabinet color, something to keep the motivation going while doing laundry for a family of 6! Stay tuned for more!!! Mel xo

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