Design Plans and Outcomes

Those that have been reading my blog for a while would know how much I love putting together design plans (aka mood boards). I thought I would summarize a few plans I’ve put together so far, and show you how faithful the outcomes were to them.

The Plan: Master Bedroom
The Outcome. Read more about this transformation here.
The Plan 1.0: Living Room
The Plan 2.0: Living Room
The Outcome…read more about this transformation here.
The Plan: Basement Bathroom
The Outcome…read more here.
The Plan 1.0: Home Office
The Plan 2.0: Home Office
The Outcome… read more here.
The Plan: Master Bathroom
The Outcome: we shall find out in April/May timeframe.
So, are you a big fan of the mood board exercise? Did your projects turn out mostly according to the plans?

Home Office Before and After

Two months ago while flowers were blooming, birds were chirping and grass was growing at an insane speed outside of the house, I realized if I had to work indoors most of the day, I needed to be in a room that’s not as dark and messy as my home office. Acting on impulse, I quickly drew up a mood board (which was shortly upgraded to 2.0) to revitalize the room. Though it’s pretty much a wiping-the-slate-clean type of transformation (replaced every single piece of furniture and fixture), this project turns out to be quite painless and enjoyable.

So here are before-and-after pictures from different corners of the room. You can click on the image to enlarge.








  • From Ikea: Ikea’s office furniture rocks!
    • Billy bookcase x 3 in white with custom crown moulding;
    • Micke desks x 2;
    • Rast dresser hacked in library chest style;
    • Malm 4-drawer dresser in white;
    • Ribba photo ledge in white.
  • Bergère chair: a family gift.
  • Ikat drapery fabric from Tonic Living, sewing by yours truly.
  • Antique Windsor comb-back chairs x 3 spray painted in Krylon Satin White. Chair pad fabric from Etsy.
  • Ceiling light fixture: Semi-flush white organza/linen double shades by Z-Lite.
  • Lantern: Bowring.
  • Framed art prints on the wall: “Noon I” and “Noon II” by Caroline Gold from

Ikea Rast Hack #2

I’ve been looking for a side table or chest that’s compact yet offers storage for a little corner in my home office. Nothing else seems to fit the bill except for the Ikea Rast dresser, so it’s a no-brainer that I need to hack it yet again. It didn’t take long before I figured out what I wanted it to look like this time — it’s for a home office so “library chest” it is!

After painting it in white, I picked up some antique bronze label pulls from Etsy, and inserted six cheesy labels in nostalgic typewriter font representing six known tastes: Kokumi, Umami, Bitter, Sweet, Salty and Sour. I am hilarious, right?

The dresser went from this:

To this:

I am still debating whether I should add decorative brass corners for a more industrial look, but this clean look will stay for a while until I make up my mind.

Photo Ledge and A Last Glimpse of Summer

After much debate over a gallery wall vs. photo ledge, I’ve decided to go with the latter for the reason of less commitment (only 4 nail holes in the wall), and a more laidback appeal. This is what it looks like still in progress.

I spent the majority of my childhood on an island city in the Pacific ocean. Nostalgically, anything from the sea has a soft spot in my heart. The purple coral branch fossils in the two vintage glass display boxes are every rare. It takes the purple coral 25 years to grow 1.5 inches, and therefore it is now a protected species. This corner has become my emotional escape in my home office.

I am almost done with the home office except for some finishing touch to yet another Ikea Rast hack, and framing the Caroline Gold’s posters (when they arrive in the mail). Am I too crazy to like industrial chic decor like this or this for the Ikea Rast chest (well that’s the look I am going for)?

Flying Pig

Each year we took a couple of trips down to Niagara wineries to load up our annual wine supply. We also strolled down the streets in the village, and that’s when I first came across these hand-made glass flying pigs. As I was debating how many (colors) to buy (so hard, love them all but not so much the $75 per price tag!), I realized it was almost 4pm and we absolutely had to rush to the highway back home before we sat in traffic again. So I left empty-handed, and regretted that I didn’t even take down who made them.

Yesterday I spent half a day at a Spa that I frequent for the past eight years. Maybe the facial cleared up my sinuses (from ragweed pollen allergy), or maybe it was meant to be, I spotted these flying pigs from a fashion boutique that I must have passed by countless times outside of the spa. I couldn’t let them go again so I picked up two.

That’s when I also found out every single of these glass flying pigs is kiln fired, mouth blown, hand shaped by Christina Mayr of Three Crow Glass from Saint-Michel-des-Saints of Quebec City. Each one is unique and signed by Christina. To live up to the “flying pig” name, each piece comes with a loop on the back, so you can actually hang them and they will “fly” like wind chimes. There are also unlimited color combinations to choose from.

Aren’t they adorable? They are new additions to my newly refreshed home office.

I also scored these vintage glass display boxes from the same store. I used silicone chalking to seal the bottom so they are now ready for my beach-themed displays.

Home Office Progress Part II

Long weekend has finally come, and Anthony and I eventually got around to assemble the new bookcases. We have put away books and things from tens of boxes, and there are still tons of them in the basement waiting to be sorted out. I love the thrill of a grand reveal, but to live (work) in the same room being renovated drives me bunkers I tell ya.

So here is the home office progress part II. The color combination from the “Chungking Express” poster (an Amélie-alike romantic cliché) seems to work in the space, but I could only find one movie poster that looks so nice (and from a movie I actually like). I need a second one on the other side of the window wall. Yes, in addition to being a neat freak, I also a lover of symmetry.

Click on the image to enlarge

So I “returned” the movie poster to hub’s home office (we each gets a room in our house as our office. His is next on my list to refresh.), and picked up these art prints by Caroline Gold titled Noon I and II. I saw Caroline’s work at an art gallery before, and love the serenity she conveys through her use of colors. 

And this is the white Billy Bookcases we put together. I think I am going to add crown moulding and baseboard to dress them up.

This is a not so pretty corner of the office. A wall gallery will go up on this wall. I am yet to find a library/lounge chair that’s small yet comfortable enough to sink in for a long read (or phone call). Any suggestions?

Here is a list of things that still need to be done before this project can be wrapped up:

  • Change the lighting fixture (still searching);
  • Take stuff out of the basement and fill the bookcases;
  • Possibly add moulding to the bookcases for a more integrated look;
  • Put up a gallery wall;
  • Find a comfortable armchair that’s upholstered in white, cream or light grey;
  • Finish a couple of beach-themed display boxes.

As you could see the room still requires several finishing touches, but thankfully the most painful parts (aka painting, assemble furniture) are over.
Have a great long weekend everyone!

Home Office Progress

The drapery fabric I ordered from Tonic Living turned out great: placed the order on a Saturday and the package showed up on Tuesday. Janine at Tonic Living rocks!
Well, the picture says it all: other than the drapes, everything else is a big mess. The room has been in Light French Grey, and though we used a very low VOC Para paint, the smell still assaults my sinuses. More updates to come shortly.