Thursday, December 11, 2014

Quick Paint Tips / Projects

With the holidays just around the corner, so grows the list of to dos within the home. Spending too much time inside makes you realize how many little projects you need to get done or want to do to jazz up your space.  Not every project has to be a big one: you can make just as much of an impact in a space with little effort. These projects can change your space completely with just a little elbow grease and paint! Need extra encouragement to take on a quick & easy DIY project? CIL Paint Testers are on sale at Home Depot for only $3.97 until December 20th!

Here are few small painting projects that make a big impact:

Accent Walls can play a huge role in any space! Only have a short amount of time? Try just a few stripes on a smaller wall

{ images: joalcorn}

Paint a Window or an Interior Door in a striking colour for a major change within any space with minimal effort.

Change picture frame colours for a whole new look.

Add some colour to your kitchen accessories and be the envy of the town and your holiday guests.
Whatever project you tackle this holiday season, have fun with it. Paint goes along way on a budget and if you dont like it down the road paint over it!  It is a great solution to keeping your items around forever and giving it a whole new look with a little facelift over the years. Dont feel like you need to buy new stuff all the time - just add a DIY paint project to your to do list. Your wallet will love you and your home will look spectacular!

Until next time,
Jo Alcorn

Thursday, December 4, 2014

5 Days of Christmas Gift Guide!

With the holiday gift giving season upon us, our stress levels rise as we try to decide upon ideal gifts for our loved ones. Whomever you are shopping for this holiday season, we have five great options that are suitable for anyone (and everyone!) on your list. 

 On first day of Christmas I bought an Oster Versa 1400 High Performance Blender. With so many choices available in blenders, the Versa differentiates itself by being just as powerful as comparable models but at a fraction of the price ($250).
With the bonus of its attractive red hue, this gift can spice up any countertop!

 On the second day of Christmas I snuggled up with a Sunbeam Cuddle Up Heated Throw.  As we brace ourselves to see what Mother Nature has in store for us this year, staying warm cannot be overlooked. To fend off the elements and chase chills away, snuggle up with a Sunbeam Heated Throw that has three heat settings and an automatic on/off function. Available in 22 assorted patterns, you’re sure to find one that appeals to everyone on your shopping list. My favourite this Christmas? The Holiday Deer throw! 

*A side note:Sunbeam is proud to launch Supports with Warmth, an awareness and fundraising campaign in support of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Wheels of Hope transportation

On the third day of Christmas a Martello Café Stilista Lattelux made its way into my kitchen. It’s an at-home espresso based capsule brewing system that’s small on size but big on style. Compact appliances like the Martello Café Stilista Lattelux are perfect when kitchen counter real estate is at a premium, or you just want a fantastic unit with a small footprint. But foregoing a large unit does not mean giving up on taste! This unit brews authentic Italian-roasted espresso and comes with an automatic milk frother to create macchiatos, cappuccinos and lattes at home. Great for impressing holiday guests, but even better for eliminating the stress of morning line-ups at the coffee shop all year long.

 The fourth day of Christmas I found myself at Artemano to find unique serving bowls and gifts for friends and family. All their items are made from recycled materials and 100% unique. I purchased several great tea light holders and serving trays for myself, and to use as hostess gifts. When you want to delight a friend, family member or hostess with an original gift, you cannot go wrong shopping at Artemano.

 And on the fifth day of Christmas I wrapped up my shopping with a Sonos Wi-Fi speaker. Sonos is a smart system of wireless Hi-Fi speakers and audio components. You can play all the music on Earth and control it all with one easy to navigate app on your phone, tablet or computer. The best part is you can play a different song on every speaker! I love this system for holiday entertaining or even as a luxury gift for a loved one.
Happy Gift Giving Season!!
Until next time,
w&c girl!

Friday, October 24, 2014

A home office and a guest room: How to create a multifunctional space

City living may mean limited space, but you don’t have to sacrifice functionality. I was recently challenged to find a clever way to maximize a space. All of the bedrooms were occupied, but the home lacked a guest room, plus a more efficient workspace and storage in their walkout basement. This is how I created a dual-purpose room.

 An efficient and functional layout.
A multifunctional room needs a practical layout. What is the room being used for? In this case, we knew the home business needed stations for three workers, a sitting meeting area, closed storage, plus it would be a bonus if the room could double as a spare room for out of town guests.


I maximized the space by creating a layout, which utilized the perimeter of the room. This freed up the middle of the room for easy movement and created the feeling of a larger space.

Let’s work it out.

I wanted a clean, streamlined design for the office space, with plenty of counter space. I wanted to use every inch of the room, so store bought pieces were out of the question. I went to Harkel Office Furniture

for customizable desks with a simple, solid line leg, to maximize the wall space. This office uses laptops, great for maximizing space because you can get away with a smaller desk depth. It also allowed us to run a desk down the middle of the room, dividing the room into two distinct work areas and creating more countertop space.

 Storage is always key.

Offices usually come with a ton of paperwork and clutter, so closed storage is key to an organized office. I turned to Cutler Modern Living for a unique office solution storage systems. I designated an entire wall of cabinets that would house office storage. Accessing paperwork or office supplies is a breeze. Instead of awkward, in-the-way cabinet doors, this storage system has flip-up upper storage cabinets.


The basement office had low ceilings and a lot of furniture being added, so I had a few tricks up my sleeve to make this room look larger and airier. I added a light and fresh coat of JoJo Whitewash PF17 from Para Paint on the walls to open up the room. I continued using this colour in all the wall perimeter furniture. The furniture blends into the walls, creating a calming effect in a tight space.


The overnight guest.

Who doesn’t need more space for those overnight guests? A sofa was needed for the meeting area, but we decided a standard sofa wouldn’t be ideal for an overnight guest.  We selected a multifunctional pull-out sofa for the space so it can double as a private retreat for out of town guests.

The finishing touches.

The room was pulled together with a few finishing touches. At EQ3 we found a much-needed floor lamp, plus the perfect little round table to drink a coffee, take notes or use as a bedside table for overnight guests.  I also added a round metal mirror, great for reflecting the light and making the room look larger. I finished the room with stainless crystal wall sconces from the Jo Alcorn collection by Artcraft Lighting.


And there you have it!  A bright, organized multifunctional space you don’t want to leave!

The before . . . .
Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Create your own bedroom retreat!

{Full article in this Friday's Toronto Sun!}

You spend a third of your day in your bedroom. It should be a relaxing place you enjoy spending time. Here’s how you can create a beautiful, comfortable bedroom retreat on any budget.

Cool Color Palette. I’ve had red bedrooms and I’ve had pale blue rooms. I can honestly say colour psychology is real. A cool, serene colour palette makes all the difference in creating a relaxing room.  Go for soft and subtle colours if you want a respite from the busy world outside. I choose Whistle Stop 50BB from CIL’s collections to create that calming effect.

The perfect bed. I had an awkward small window in my bedroom that I had to hide. I chose a padded headboard that was just high enough to cover the window.


I just couldn’t find the right size or colour of headboard. I wouldn’t call myself a DIY’er but when the time comes, I can step up. I found a headboard with clean lines at Home Sense for $299.99. However, it wasn’t quite the right colour for my project. When I found a patterned shower curtain for $29.99, I thought I’d tackle a DIY project and create the perfect headboard. Voilà! A custom-made headboard on a budget.

Side table conundrum. Side tables are a useful element of every bedroom. Do you need extra drawers or countertop space? What height, size, colour or material? I needed something to match the height and scale of the bed. I found the perfect side table at The side tables had a unique design, with added bedroom storage. With my DIY skills already set in motion, I swapped the handles to white, to tie in with the rest of the bedroom design. Another inexpensive project with a big results!


Layered lighting. I love a bedroom with ambient lighting. A lamp with a soft bulb, mixed with task lighting for reading a book, plus decorative side can add some drama to your room. These white horned oversized side lamps from Mirens were the perfect conversational piece in the room.  Don’t forget about overhead lighting. This is another great place to add some art to the room. I used a Jo Alcorn light from , which added a touch of whimsy to the room. Layering lighting in any room, particularly your bedroom, allows for the perfect mix of function and comfort.

Comfy carpet or rug. Having the perfect texture under foot when you step out of bed can improve your whole bedroom experience. Rugs add warmth to any space.

Mirror Mirror on the wall. I love how mirrors create different dimensions within a space. To bring the bed and those amazing lamps to another level, I layered Home Sense mirrors on the wall to add a grand, romantic feeling to the bedroom. Mirrors make your room appear larger, and this one also added a feeling of luxury and sophistication to the bedroom.

Use these simple tips to create your perfect bedroom and ensure you get an amazing night’s sleep!

In addition to a great bedroom design, a must have for every bedroom:
PASCOFLAIR 425 mg überzogene Tabletten 
Health retailers
Retail CDN - $19.99
“Pascoflair helps stop my running thoughts that keep me up at night. This herbal product promotes relaxation and improves sleep.”

Looking to get help designing your own sleep haven? I'll be at local Home Depot Stores each Thursday evening until October 9 helping people choose the best paint colours for their makeovers. Visit to see my full schedule.
Until next time,
w&c Designer Girl!


Monday, August 25, 2014


Need Paint Advice? How about overall Decorating/Design Help? But can't afford a design consultation fee? Well you are in luck CIL has teamed up with a number of Design Experts across Canada assisting you once a week at a Home Depot near you for a limited time offer. Come out from 6 to 8pm at one of the locations below to meet with me for a quick free consultation to help with any of your paint colour or décor questions!  Make sure to bring any fabrics, or existing colours of furniture that is staying in the room(s), to make sure we don't miss anything in the time frame come ready with your question(s). Looking forward to meeting you and helping with your design questions!
Aug 28th: Brampton North
60 Great Lakes Dr
Brampton, ON
L6R 2S8
Sept 4th: Brampton East
9105 Airport Road, Brampton ON
L6S 0B8
Sept 11th: Brampton
49 First Gulf Blvd, Brampton ON L6W 4R8
Sept 18th: Mississauga Britannia
5975 Terry Fox Way
Mississauga, ON
L5V 3E4
Sept 25th: Mississauga South
3065 Mavis Road, Mississauga ON L5C 1T7
Oct 2nd: Oakville
2555 Bristol Cir
Oakville, ON
L6H 5W9
Oct 9th: Mississauga West
2920 Argentia Rd
Mississauga, ON
L5N 8C5

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Monday, August 11, 2014

All Seasoned Cottage Decor

With our short Canadian summer, more and more people are buying all-season cottages or winterizing their existing cottages to make a year-round retreat. People want to enjoy a get away not only in the summer but also in the cooler Canadian months too. I recently took the design challenge of styling my client’s all-season cottage.

 Decorating an all-season cottage is different than styling your summer cottage. You have to balance those colder months by the fire with those summer months when you want it light and bright. You don’t have to give up style when looking for durability and functionality however.

Consider seating. The cottage has to be welcoming, whether you are entertaining friends or just cuddling up with the family on the sofa.  I turned to Mirens (, an online furniture store, to find just the right pieces. I selected two, three-seater sofas because you can seat more people and they are the perfect length for an afternoon nap. For the cottage you want durable, easy-to-clean fabrics.  I decided on a weaved fabric in an oatmeal colour. The fabric adds texture, hides the sand and is warm in colder months. The light colour keeps the cottage looking light and breezy. I chose a stylish and comfy reading chair for added seating. Patterned blue pillows tie it all together for a perfect all-season cottage look.

To create a modern and bright cottage, we kept the wall colour light and painted out the brick fireplace with Para’s JoJo whitewash. This look is perfect for any season.

I added a shelf unit behind the sofa from Mirens as well.  It offers easy-access storage, perfect for cottage living, and can double as extra counter space when entertaining.


I got creative with cottage accessories. White stick floor lamps from Mirens are a great example of how you can incorporate modern, nature-like pieces in your space.  Just because you are in a cottage doesn’t mean it has to be rustic.
Bringing the outdoors in is not a new concept, but adding tree branches from the property is a budget-friendly way to add a whimsical spin on accent decor. In the fall months, coloured leaf branches will transform and add warmth to your space without having to change anything else in the room.

To make the cottage easy to clean, in the summer months remove the rug and in the colder months, add in a rug, to keep the cottage cozy and warm. Don’t be afraid to use an outdoor rug in the cottage, you can find some really fun ones and when it gets dirty, simply take it outside to shake it off or hose it down!  All of the pillows have removable covers, making them easy to remove and throw in the washer at home. The lacquer finish on the coffee table and shelving unit and the glass top on the side tables keep messes manageable with a quick wipe-down. The reading chair is a vinyl fabric, making it family (and pet) friendly.

 The point of an all-season cottage is to escape and enjoy peaceful surrounding year-round.  Make sure you love your space and feel good in it. A stylish design can also be functional!

Until next time,
w&c designer girl~


Related Posts with Thumbnails